Heart transported from Mumbai to Delhi for transplant surgery in 2.5 hrs

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New Delhi, June 26 (PTI): A 53-year-old woman got a new lease of life on Wednesday after undergoing a heart transplant surgery here within hours of it being harvested from a donor in Mumbai, officials said.

The organ was transported to a hospital here, more than 1,100 km from Mumbai, in just over two-and-a-half hours, they said. The organ was sent to the hospital in Delhi, covering a long-haul distance. Green corridors were created in each of the cities to transport the heart, officials said.

“A green corridor was created between Mumbai and Delhi to carry a heart to Fortis Escorts Heart Institute (FEHI), Okhla. “The organ was transported aerially and through streets in both the cities, covering a distance of 1,178 km in two-and-a-half hours,” a spokesperson of the hospital said.

The recipient is suffering from dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition in which the heart becomes enlarged and cannot pump blood effectively, the hospital said. A team of doctors led by Z S Meharwal, Director, Cardio Thoracic Vascular Surgery, FEHI, are performing the surgery.

“The male donor (42) had suffered serious injuries in a road accident and was declared brain dead despite best efforts at the Global Hospital in Mumbai.

“The heart was then airlifted at 03:15 pm from the Mumbai airport and reached the Delhi airport at 05:05 pm,” the spokesperson said. Another green corridor from the Delhi airport to FEHI was then created spanning 23 km in 23 minutes.

“A green corridor was provided from the Indira Gandhi International Airport’s T3 to FEHI. The journey started at 5:07 pm and the heart reached the hospital at 5.30 pm. The route taken was the IGIA-NH8-RTR-Munirka-Malviya Nagar-Nehru Place-FEHI,” a senior official of the Delhi Traffic Police said.

Meharwal said a heart transplant is a critical surgery where timing is the key. “It is commendable that a live heart was retrieved and transported within such a short span of time. Organ donation, as a cause, is yet to take off in a major way, but such examples of swift coordination gives us immense confidence. There is a need to increase awareness about this noble cause,” the doctor said.

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