The directorate of health services (DHS) has sent out a strong warning to the hospitals where transplants are done.The DHS has warned these hospitals that if they fail to send the brain-stem death reports, their registration would not be renewed.There are 31 such hospitals in Mumbai and only nine sent the reports last year. This has severely affected cadaver donations, which can save many lives. <!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>As per a state government resolution, it is mandatory for transplant hospitals to send the brain-stem death reports to the DHS and the Zonal Transplantation Co-ordination Committee (ZTCC), Mumbai, every month. Once a patient is brain dead, a hospital’s transplantation coordinator or social worker will try to convince the family of the deceased to donate his organs. Many patients are in the waiting list to get donor organs like heart, kidney, liver and lungs.The trend of cadaver donations has always been uneven in the city. In 2012, there were 27 cadaver donations, while in 2013, there were 24 donations. In 2014, the city saw 41 donations that benefitted 107 people. In 2015, there were 44 donations, which helped 114 people. In 2016, till January 4, donations saved 13 lives.Experts say that the government should set up donor detection programmes in major hospitals across the state, implement law strongly and create public awareness. “The government should hold a review meeting every month,” said Dr Jatin Kothari, nephrologist, Hinduja hospital, and ZTCC joint secretary.In the state, ZTCC is the agency that coordinates between donor familes and recipients. Patients who need organs have to register with ZTCC. ZTCC maintains a registry of people waiting for organs. What is brain-stem death? Brain-stem death is a clinical syndrome defined by the absence of reflexes with pathways through the brain stem — the “stalk” of the brain which connects the spinal cord to the mid-brain, cerebellum and cerebral hemispheres – in a deeply comatose, ventilator-dependent patient.

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Where are your brain-stem death reports?