Fatty livers in the way of transplants

Dr-Krishnan-Raman

KOTA KINABALU: The poor quality of donated livers is hindering transplants from being performed, a government surgeon says.

New Straits Times Online today quoted Selayang Hospital surgeon Dr Krishnan Raman, 55, as saying that since Jan 1 this year, only one liver transplant could be performed due to poor quality donor livers.

“This year, we received eight calls on brain-dead patients who had pledged to donate their organs.

“However, only one of the livers was healthy, while the rest were fatty livers which were the result of poor diet and lack of exercise, among others,” he said at the EndoQE 2016 workshop at Queen Elizabeth Hospital here.

Dr Krishnan said Selayang Hospital would only accept pledges of organs from people determined to be healthy in the future.

He was also concerned about the low organ donation rate in Malaysia.

“The awareness programme is costly and requires backing from the government and private sector to be sustained.”

Dr Krishnan, who is the Selayang Hospital Hepatopancreaticobiliary Department head and consultant, has performed 80 liver transplants with his team since 2002.

The report said his first transplant involving a living donor was a woman from Kuching, Sarawak, who is now the mother of a four-year-old boy.

“It is rewarding to see both of them. They visit us at Selayang Hospital every year and they are well.”

The report noted that in March this year, there were 19,895 patients on the organ waiting list.

Among them, 19,871 are in need of a kidney, 10 livers, six hearts and eight lungs.