It was the longest en-bloc heart and lung retrieval for a team of surgeons from Pune and Mumbai, who travelled from Chandigarh to Mumbai, covering a distance of 1,351 kms, as time was of the utmost importance for the process. On Saturday afternoon, Pune-based cardiovascular thoracic surgeon Dr Sanjeev Jadhav, along with Dr V Shetty and Sandeep Sinha from Fortis Hospital, Mumbai, flew to Delhi. From the capital, they travelled to Chandigarh on a chartered flight.
“We reached Chandigarh at 6.30 pm and went to the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research(PGIMER), where the lungs and heart were harvested and transferred to a chartered flight that took off from Chandigarh at 11.27 pm,” Dr Jadhav told The Indian Express. Landing in Mumbai at 1.15 am after covering a distance of 1,351 kms in 2 hours and 38 minutes, the live heart was transported in an ambulance to Fortis Hospital, Mulund, at 1.40 am for an immediate transplant.
Dr Anvay Mulay, head of the Cardiac Transplant team at Fortis Hospital, Mulund, said the heart was implanted in a 46-year-old man from Dombivli, Mumbai, who was suffering from dilated cardiomyopathy. “He had been put on the supra-urgent list for the organ since the past 37 days. A privately employed driver, the recipient was suffering from end-stage cardiac disease since the past two years,” said Dr Mulay. The lungs were implanted in a 55-year-old woman from Indore, who was suffering from end-stage lung failure — interstitial lung disease — for which she was on ECMO support.
Earlier, the woman was admitted to Pune’s Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital, after which she was transferred to Fortis. “Wait-listed for over two weeks, this recipient was on the supra-urgent list as well,” said Mulay. The cadaveric donation became possible for surgeons at Fortis Hospital when the family of the donor consented to donate their kin’s heart, lungs, liver, kidneys and corneas.
The donor was a 40 year-old-man, who died in a road accident at Chandigarh, and was declared brain dead. While the liver and kidneys were transplanted in patient’s wait-listed at PGIMER itself, the corneas were sent to the eye bank. The en-bloc retrieval was enabled by the National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO), the Regional Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (ROTTO) and the Zonal Transplant Coordination Centre (ZTCC), Mumbai. Dr S Narayani, zonal director of Fortis Hospital, said, “This is the first time a lung transplant has been facilitated through NOTTO.”