The Rajiv Gandhi Government Hospital, here on 20th March 2012, achieved a distinction by performing its 1000th renal transplant.
The first transplant surgery was done 25 years ago by nephrologist M.A. Muthusethupathi on 10th July, 1987 and now on 20th March, its 1000 kidney transplant has set a record among the Govt. run hospitals to achieve such a high figure.
“It is almost 25 years [since the programme was started] and 1,000 is a good number. Earlier, in 1982, we did a transplant in Government Royapettah Hospital. Then, when I was transferred to the GH, we continued it there. Every time you do a transplant you have to plan; it needed a lot more effort back then but gradually, it has become stable,” he said.
When the transplant programme began about 75 to 80 per cent of the patients had a three-year survival rate. “It is time to look back and see how the patients are doing,” Dr. Muthusethupathi said.
States provision of providing life-times of free immunosuppressant drugs to the patients had really helped them to perform well and since the start up of the programme the patients are comforted by providing them free drugs. The estimated cost of Drugs, spent per person costs around Rs 10,000 to Rs 12,000. “When we made a request to the State government, they promptly agreed,” Dr. Muthusethupathi recalled.
The State government now allots Rs. 2 crore a year for immunosuppressant therapy, Dr. Kanakasabai said. On World Kidney Day on March 8, patients who had undergone renal transplant and donors interacted with prospective renal transplant patients. .
The first successful cadaver renal transplantation was performed at the hospital in January 1996. But, it was only in 2008 that cadaver transplantation picked up, Dr. Kanakasabai said.