In the history of medical science, a reused liver was implanted onto another patient after the doner was declared brain dead after a few days post-surgery. This historic surgery was conducted by a team of experts at the Centre for Liver and Biliary Sciences at the Max Saket in Delhi.
As per reports by the doctors at Max, the liver originally belonged to a 44-year old woman who hailed from Gurgaon and had a history of seizures and hypertension and was declared brain dead after she suffered a brain haemorrhage at the Fortis Hospital in Gurgaon on September 21.
Soon after that, the women's family gave the consent to donate her heart, liver, kidneys and corneas. Her liver was then implanted into a 53-year-old man from Gurgaon who was suffering from liver failure.
Almost after a week from the transplantation, as the new receiver (the 53-year-old man from Gurgaon) was recovering well, he also suffered an intracranial haemorrhage on September 28 and was declared brain dead by a neurologist on October 5.
After being declared brain dead, the family members of the 53-year-old man wished to save somebody else's life by donating the liver which he got from the 44-year-old woman.
Immediately following that decision taken by his family, the National Organ and Tissue Transplantation Organization (NOTTO) issued an alert to all the hospitals that they had the facility to transplant a 'previously-transplanted liver'.Immediately following that decision taken by his family, the National Organ and Tissue Transplantation Organization (NOTTO) issued an alert to all the hospitals that they had the facility to transplant a 'previously-transplanted liver'.
The transplant coordinator at Saket Hospital informed that there were about 21 patients who shared the same blood group and were waiting for the liver and each of them was contacted.
Dr Gupta added that there was a high risk of rejection in transplantation involving a liver that has already been used. Several precautions were taken to assess the risk of rejection prior to the transplantation.
As a safety measure, first, the quality of the liver was measured by the liver function test. It was surprising that the liver was pristine. Followed by that, it was confirmed that there was no break in the immunosuppressive therapy after the onset of the intracranial bleeding.
No rejection was confirmed after the transplant and the intracranial bleeding was unrelated to the transplant process. The liver transplant using the previously transplanted liver was carried out on October 6.
The best part of the news was that soon after the surgery the patient came out of the ventilation and had intact mental faculties.