THE POST-GRADUATE Institute of Medical Education & Research, (PGIMER), Chandigarh, on Tuesday became the first government hospital in the country to perform a lung transplant. The process that began late on Monday night involved 20 doctors and continued for more than 12 hours.
PGIMER director Jagat Ram called it a “big day” for the institute.
The lung was harvested from an accident victim, 22-year-old Bhola Singh from Punjab’s Moga district. The Brain Death Certification Committee of PGI declared him brain-dead on Monday night. Soon thereafter, he was considered as a donor for the lung transplant.
“This is probably the first lung transplant performed by any public sector hospital in the country. I congratulate the entire team. It is a big day for all of us and it is the result of the hardwork of the entire team,” Dr Jagat Ram said while interacting with mediapersons after the transplant.
Doctors said that the harvesting of the organs from the donor started around 1.30 am on Tuesday. “We completed the lung transplant by around 2.30 pm on Tuesday. We had been trying to accomplish such a transplant for a long time,” said Dr Rana Sandip Singh, a cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon, who was part of the team that performed the transplant.
On the challenges they faced, Rana said, “Whenever we are performing any surgery for the first time, we tend to be extra cautious. There is a lot of stress involved in this kind of surgery because the expectations are quite high.”
The recipient of the lung transplant, a 34-year-old woman from Sangrur in Punjab (identity withheld by PGI), the doctors said, was suffering from end-stage lung disease and had been continuously on oxygen supply. The condition of the patient, post-lung transplant, was “stable” and all her vital parameters were found “normal”. The patient shall be kept in Intensive Care Unit for the next few days under strict medical observation.
Other than the lung, the doctors said the kidney, liver and corneas were also retrieved from the brain-dead patient and were transplanted into the needy patients at PGI.
“The institute has been successfully performing heart, kidney, pancreas, liver and cornea transplants. With today’s accomplishment, PGIMER has forayed into lung transplant which will contribute to saving more precious lives,” said Dr Vipin Koushal, nodal officer, Regional Organ & Tissue Transplant Organisation, PGI.