On Tuesday, Mumbai became a nodal point between Gujarat and Rajasthan after a heart was flown out from Surat for a 43-year-old man from Rajasthan’s Alwar district, who was suffering from dilated cardiomyopathy.
This was the tenth heart transplant this year in which a special green corridor was created in Mumbai by road traffic and air traffic authorities to transport the heart in one hour and 15 minutes over 269 kilometres.
The 43-year-old was registered for a heart transplant with the city’s Fortis Hospital. On Tuesday morning, after the family of a 17-year-old road accident victim agreed to donate his kidney, liver and heart, a team of doctors reached Surat’s Sunshine Global Hospital to retrieve the heart.
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By 10.33 am, the team had left the hospital with the heart packed in a special container. By 11.20 am, the chartered flight reached Mumbai airport, from where it was transferred into an ambulance. By 11.48 am, it reached Mulund-based Fortis Hospital’s operation theatre, where the operation continued for over eight hours.
“We are increasingly seeing cadaver donations from smaller cities like Surat and Indore. There is a lot of motivation among people to donate organs after brain stem death,” said Dr Anvay Mulay who conducted the transplant on the man. Mulay has participated in 14 heart transplants till now.
The rate of heart transplants is, however, slower than the existing demand. The Zonal Transplant Coordination Center (ZTCC) has 15 patients on waitlist for a heart donation.
The last transplant took place on April 12 when a Latur farmer’s 16-year-old son was donated a heart by the family of a 22-year-old accident victim from Surat. In a fortnight, two new patients have registered on the waitlist.