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Green corridors make inter-State organ transplants a success

About a dozen doctors located in different parts of the country, but heavily networked in their area of work of organ transplant, on Saturday ensured that a young Indore girl’s heart and liver found recipients within hours of her being declared brain dead.

The 20-year-old girl, who was physically handicapped and also a patient of epilepsy, had suffered a head injury when she fell from a chair. She was declared brain dead at the MGM Medical College and Hospital in Indore at around 1.30 pm on January 2.

The tier-II city, where kidney transplant procedures have been carried out, did not have the medical wherewithal for retrieving the heart. “We sent out an email to Billeary Disease Hospital, New Delhi, Zonal Transplant Coordination Committee (ZTCC) in Mumbai, Vedanta Hospital in Gurgaon and Yashoda Hospital in Hyderabad,” said Dr Sanjay Dixit, secretary of Indore Organ Donation Society.

“We had sent a liver to Delhi before, but this was the first time a heart was retrieved in Indore,” Dr Dixit said. During the time the procedure following brain death was being completed, they started zeroing down on prospective recipients and realised Mumbai will be a good bet. “We don’t have retrieval doctors in Indore so they too had to be brought in from Mumbai,” he said.

Coordinated effort

Dr Dixit didn’t stop at emails, and called up Dr Anil Bandi, kidney transplant surgeon at Greater Kailash Hospital in Indore, about the brain dead patient and the possibility of organ donation. Dr Bandi in turn spoke to Dr Sunil Shroff, trustee of MOHAN Foundation in Chennai, and told him about the availability of organs.

Speaking to The Hindu from Chennai, Dr Shroff said that Indore is better connected to Mumbai and a heart transplant will be possible within four hours of retrieval and thought it best to alert the ZTCC in Mumbai.

“I called up the ZTCC general secretary Dr Sujata Patwardhan in Mumbai and told her there was a possibility of a heart.”

Dr Patwardhan in turn immediately alerted Fortis hospital, where doctors had also got an alert from Dr Bandi in Indore.

“The Maharaja Yeshwantrao hospital is not a recognised retrieval centre so the brain dead girl was shifted to Choitaram Hospital,” said Dr Dixit.

Her heart and liver were harvested early Sunday morning and flown to Mumbai and Delhi.

Recipients under observation

Dr Vijay Agarwal, head of paediatric cardiac surgery at Fortis hospital, Mulund, said the inter-State heart transplant was a breakthrough. He said the recipient was stable and will be under observation for the next 42 to 72 hours.

In Delhi, the 47-year-old recipient was suffering form cryptogenic cirrhosis, and had been waiting for a liver for the last six months. “He didn’t have any live donors in the family,” Dr Viniyendra Pamecha, chief liver transplant surgeon with ILBS, told The Hindu from Delhi. He said the procedure from liver procurement to implantation was completed in six hours, which was excellent timing. “The patient is stable,” he said.

Smooth passage

The Mumbai traffic police once again ensured smooth passage from the Mumbai airport to Fortis, Mulund after the commercial flight carrying the donor organ landed here. The ambulance carrying the donor heart left the airport at 8.51 am and reached the hospital in Mulund at 9.07am. The donor heart was moved to the operation theatre within a minute and at 12.30pm, the heart transplant procedure was completed. A green corridor was also created in Delhi, where the liver reached the hospital from the airport in 10 minutes.

“The list of patients with end-stage organ failure is increasing and we hope that we steadily progress towards bridging the gap. This successful heart transplant surgery is a golden example of teamwork beyond boundaries,” said Dr Patwardhan.

Dr S Narayani, zonal director, Fortis Hospital, Mulund, said district commissioner of Indore, Sanjay Dubey, pulled off this mammoth task.

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Printable version | Jan 16, 2021 10:51:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/news/Green-corridors-make-inter-State-organ-transplants-a-success/article13980700.ece

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