In a tremendous boost to heart transplants this year, the Zonal Transplant Coordination Centre (ZTCC) recorded its 13th heart transplant Tuesday after a heart was flown via a green corridor from Surat to Mumbai for a 53-year-old man from Katargam. The transplant saved the man after a two-month-long wait for a donor.
The donor, a 54-year-old man, died due to head injuries at Mahavir hospital in Surat after a road accident. His family helped give new lease of life to six others by agreeing to donate his liver, both kidneys, heart and corneas. On Tuesday morning, a team of experts flew to Surat to retrieve the heart and get it back via a pre-planned green corridor.
The heart was taken out of the hospital by 11.35 am and reached Surat airport in 13 minutes. From there, it was flown in a chartered flight and brought to Mumbai by 12.33 pm.
“The operation started at 12.52 pm,” said a spokesperson with Fortis Hospital, Mulund, where the surgery took place.
According to Dr Anvay Mulay, who conducted the surgery, the 53-year-old man who received the heart was “rapidly deteriorating and transplant surgery was necessary to save his life”. He is currently stable and will be kept under observation for 48 hours.
While this is the 18th transplant since August last year, the city is increasingly depending on cities like Surat, Pune and Indore, which are far ahead, when it comes to heart donations.
According to ZTCC data, of the 13 heart transplants done in Mumbai this year, on nine occasions the heart was donated from outside Mumbai.
“People are becoming willing to donate kidney and liver but not heart. In these cities, NGOs are working actively to counsel families of brain dead patients,” said Dr Gauri Rathod, assistant director at the Directorate of Health Services.
Of 77 hospitals registered in Mumbai for organ transplant, only 10 actively report cadaver death, DHS data shows. Currently, there are 13 patients wait-listed for a heart transplant in Mumbai.
“We sent notices to hospitals in January to compulsorily report brain death or their renewal for organ transplant will be cancelled,” Rathod added.
This year so far, 40 kidney transplants, 23 liver and 13 heart transplants have been conducted in the city.