A heart transplant is not an easy operation by any standards. It requires great skill and precision – and also a very tight watch on the clock.
In fact, a heart must be transplanted within six hours of harvesting from the donor.
And for the first time in India, a heart was flown down from New Delhi to Chennai for a transplant and the doctors managed this challenging feat in record time.
An Indian Air Force personnel met with a road traffic accident on Tuesday and sustained severe head injuries in Delhi. He was rushed to the R&R Army Hospital in New Delhi for treatment. On Wednesday morning, the patient was declared brain dead and his family decided to donate his organs.
Meanwhile, a patient at Gleneagles Global Health City in Chennai needed a heart. As the doctors at both hospitals communicated with each other, they decided to embark on something they have never done before.
Dr Sandeep Attawar, Director and Chair of Heart Failure and Transplant, Gleneagles Global Hospitals. The challenge was to bring in the heart in four hours and stitch it in 2 hours. There is only a chance that you have and you make best of it.
Dr Sandeep We were informed about the heart that was available for transplant at R&R Army Hospital in Delhi by the Transplant Authority of Tamil Nadu (TRANSTAN), on Thursday afternoon at about 1.15 pm.
The heart was harvested just after 2 pm, and from that moment on, it was a race against time.
Dr Sandeep. The doctors at the army hospital were kind enough to harvest the organ and ensure all necessary parameters to transport the organ safely were taken.
And then, the organ was transported to Chennai on a Jet Airways flight.
Dr Sandeep. The Jet Airways flight left Delhi at 4.12 pm and reached Chennai about 10 minutes before its landing time. Ten minutes is a lot for us. The DGCA and airport authority in Delhi as well as Chennai played a monumental role in helping the heart reach us safely.
The heart reached Chennai at 6.50 pm. The Chennai traffic police then made sure that the heart reached the Global hospital from the airport in 30 minutes.
By 8 pm on Wednesday, the transplant had started. The surgery went on for a few hours and the heart was successfully re-circulated. The patient is on ventilator support right now, and will be sent to a normal ward in a few days.
(The story was first appeared on The News Minute and has been republished with permission.)
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