KNOWN OTHERWISE for clearing traffic for VVIPs, the police in Lucknow and Delhi, in a rare gesture, Wednesday came together to successfully transport a liver in record 90 minutes.
The liver, that of one Vineeta Saxena (55), a teacher who was declared “brain dead” by doctors at King George’s Medical University, was being transplanted to a 50-year-old patient in Delhi at the time of going to press.
The hour-and-a-half-journey started from KGMU to reach Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport in Lucknow — 28 km in 24 minutes — and then from Indira Gandhi International Airport to Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences in Delhi — 9 km in 12 minutes. For both journeys, police in the respective capital cities created a successful ‘Green Corridor’, travelling at a speed of 90 kmph.
The task was herculean especially for the Lucknow Police, which had to overcome a busy day, and a busy traffic, with Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Harsh Vardhan and Bandaru Dattatreya all in the city to attend separate programmes. As many as 100 officers from traffic and civil police had been engaged for the purpose.
The transportation was necessitated after a team led by Dr Abhijeet Chandra, Head of KGMU’s Department of Gastro-Surgery, declared Saxena “brain dead” after treating the polycystic kidney disease, which had led the patient to develop multiple cysts. The doctors then advised the family to donate her organs. Since the kidney had shut down because of the disease, the family gave its consent to donate Saxena’s liver and cornea.
And thus, at 12 pm, began a three-hour surgery as the city police, put on alert, waited outside.
“I have been the Additional Superintendent of Police (Traffic) in the state capital for about a year but today has been the most satisfactory day in leading the traffic team here,” said Habibul Hassan.
He said the police had faced similar situation in the past but this was the “first completely successful” Green Corridor as “we had learnt from previous mistakes”. “With the route that we were able to create through help from about 100 police officers put on duty for the purpose, we could have driven faster but the doctors had advised us not to go beyond the speed of 90 kmph so as to prevent damage to the liver,” the officer explained.
Speaking to The Indian Express from Delhi, Dr Abhijeet Chandra, said, “In about 90 minutes, we were able to cover the distance from KGMU (Lucknow) to ILBS (Delhi). I would like to thank the police for it. While Lucknow Police responded in such a short time, even the Delhi Police gave us a ‘Green Corridor’. The transplant is about to start and it would take another three hours.”
He said that the patient, to whom the liver was being transplanted, is “a 50-year-old woman suffering with end-stage liver disease”. Dr Chandra said he was “not aware” of the patient’s whereabouts.