Organ transplant: Heart, lungs transported from Chandigarh to Mumbai in 158 minutes, save two lives

Two organs were transported from Chandigarh to Mumbai for the first time via a chartered flight in less than two hours and 28 minutes covering a distance of over 1,600 kilometres on Saturday, reported DNA. Mumbai's 51st heart transplant and fourth lung implant saved lives of two end-stage organ failure patients.

A 40-year-old man suffering from a severe head injury was declared brain dead at the Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) in Chandigarh. The DNA report further added that the patient's wife consented to donate all his organs. She agreed to donate his liver and kidneys to the patients on the waiting list at PGIMER. While his corneas were sent to the eye bank, both his heart and lungs were transported to Mumbai.

Representational image of Ambulance. PTI

Representational image of Ambulance. PTI

The National Organ & Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO) facilitated the transplant procedure between the donors and the recipient. Both the transplants were conducted at the Fortis Hospital in Mulund. According to The Times Of India, Dr Viman Bhandari, director of NOTTO was quoted as saying, "NOTTO was set up with the mandate to coordinate organ transplants across the country. On Saturday, we spent hours to ensure that a critically ill patient who has been in the hospital for over a month due to lung failure, could get one."

The heart was given to a 46-year-old driver from Dombivli who suffered from a heart condition called dilated cardiomyopathy. He has been on a ‘supra-urgent’ list since the last 37 days.

A 55-year-old woman from Indore suffering from interstitial lung disease, an end-stage lung failure, got the lungs. She was on the waiting list for two weeks and also listed on the supra-urgent list. The lung recipient's daughter was quoted by Hindustan Times as saying, "The last few months were very critical for my mother and for us too but now things are falling in place. And for this, we will forever remain indebted to the team of doctors at this hospital.”

There are different types of organ donation namely live unrelated, live related and deceased cadaver organ donation, says a The Times Of India report.  In a deceased cadaver organ donation, organs are removed as soon as possible after the determination of brain death, while circulation is maintained artificially. Tissues may be removed within 12 to 24 hours. For receiving the donation, a patient has to register in a hospital that does transplants and they will be put on a wait-list. As and when the organ from an appropriate deceased donor (brain death) is available, the patient will be intimated.

In order to bridge the donor-recipient ratio, training, educating and equipping key medical and non-medical stakeholders in brain death declaration and donation is the key step.

According to DNA, Bhandari was quoted as saying "The Mumbai and Delhi NCR region officials had shared the waiting list of those in need of organs. We were able to coordinate between different regions or else we had a situation where donor lungs were available but were not being used due to lack of awareness."

Bhandari also said that a national registry is the need of the hour and if officials from all regions share details of the patients on the waiting list so that the distribution of organ distribution is fair.

Updated Date: Jun 05, 2017 17:04 PM

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