Myths on organ donation making liver transplants dearer

Our Bureau Hyderabad | Updated on April 20, 2014

More organ donation could also bring down the cost of transplants

Myths and fears attached to organ donation in India are posing a challenge to liver transplants across hospitals, even as the incidence of chronic liver diseases are on the rise, according to experts.

Global Hospitals, which completed about 600 transplants across its centres in Hyderabad, Chennai, Bangalore and Mumbai, feels that more organ donation could also somewhat bring down the cost of transplants, which currently range between ₹25 and ₹30 lakh for adults.

Liver data

“India needs about 18,000 to 20,000 liver transplants every year, going by the number of patients coming to hospitals with chronic liver diseases. But we are today hardly able to do 800 to 900. It is estimated that about two lakh people are diagnosed with end stage liver disease every year,” Tom Cherian, Head of Department, HPB Surgery and Liver Transplantation, said. Statistics from major hospitals in the country show that organ donation was only 0.3 per million population in India for liver transplants, while that in the UK was 13 and the highest of 33 per million in Spain.


“If we can increase this to at least three per million, we will have enough cadaver livers to take care of the required transplants in the country. Today 85 per cent of the transplants are through live donors, which could be sometimes cumbersome and costlier process,” he said.

Awareness level

Organ donation rate is relatively better with higher awareness levels in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh, while in other States it is almost zero.

Published on April 20, 2014

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