Chennai

Heart flown from Pune to Chennai for transplant

A woman,39, was suffering from end-stage heart failure  

COVID-19 restrictions and the consequent non-availability of flights did not prevent a heart from being flown from Pune to Chennai to save the life of a 37-year-old female on Sunday.

The heart of a 39-year-old female, who was declared brain-dead at a private hospital in Pune, was brought to Chennai through air ambulance. With the police creating a “green corridor” for unrestricted movement of the ambulance, the heart was then swiftly taken to MGM Healthcare Hospital, where it was transplanted successfully.

A statement issued by MGM Healthcare said that this was the second time the hospital had performed a heart transplant since COVID-19 lockdown had begun.

According to the hospital, the recipient from Chennai was suffering from end-stage heart failure and transplant was the only hope for her survival.

On August 15, the hospital received an alert about the potential donor at a private hospital in Pune. With the recipient already registered with National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO) and the patient in Pune being confirmed as a compatible donor, the requisite regulatory procedures were initiated for the transplant, the hospital said.

“The biggest challenge was the non-availability of commercial flights. As the surgery was done through a scheme of Tamil Nadu government, arranging a chartered flight was challenging. Aishwarya Trust was kind of enough to come forward and sponsor an air ambulance,” said K. R. Balakrishnan, chairman and director of Cardiac Sciences, and director of the heart and lung transplant programme, at the hospital.

The hospital said that the police department in both Pune and Chennai created “green corridors” and cleared the roads for the ambulances to travel without any delay between the airports and the hospitals.

“The organ landed in Chennai on August 16 at 6.30 p.m. The ambulance carrying the organ reached MGM Healthcare from Chennai airport in 11 minutes, which under normal traffic conditions would take between an hour to one-and-half hours,” the statement said.

The transplant surgery was commenced immediately. The team included transplant specialists K.G. Suresh Rao and V. Srinath. Dr. Rao said that the transplant was successfully completed by 9 p.m. and the patient was recuperating well.

Harish Manian, CEO, MGM Healthcare, said, “This is indeed a proud moment for our hospital. Despite the challenges due to COVID-19, various stakeholders, including the Traffic Police, airport authorities, and air ambulance personnel seamlessly collaborated to reach the organ to our hospital in the shortest possible time and helped in giving a fresh lease of life to the young lady.”

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2020 11:40:31 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/heart-flown-from-pune-to-chennai-for-transplant/article32378251.ece

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