Western Command Hospital, Chandimandir, harvests organs from dead patient; airlifted to Delhi : The Tribune India

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Western Command Hospital, Chandimandir, harvests organs from dead patient; airlifted to Delhi

Western Command Hospital, Chandimandir, harvests organs from dead patient; airlifted to Delhi

The team of military and Air Force personnel that airlifted the harvested organs to Delhi.



Tribune News Service

Vijay Mohan

Chandigarh, July 10

In a first for any military hospital in the country, the Western Command Hospital, Chandimandir, has retrieved organs for transplant from a cardiac dead person, a procedure normally undertaken on brain dead person.

The surgery, undertaken in the wee hours of Wednesday, also makes the hospital only the second medical institute in the country after the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), Chandigarh, to carry out such a procedure, according to sources.

In a brain dead person, the heart is still beating, pumping blood to organs, while in a cardiac dead person both heart and brain are dead, leaving a very small window for organ retrieval. The ‘path-breaking, though technically difficult surgery’ opens up vistas for other medical institutes in the country, given the large gap between the requirement and availability of organs for transplant.

According to doctors, the window for organ retrieval from a cardiac dead person is just about 45 minutes as compared to 6-7 hours for a brain dead person, requiring a different approach as well as skill sets.

The family of a serving soldier who had suffered a stroke and had been unconscious for a long time had consented to donate his organs. These were then rushed to the Army Research and Referral Hospital, New Delhi, where they were transplanted into two terminally ill patients, one of whom was a senior Naval officer and the other a dependent of an Army personnel.

Given the limited time available in cardiac dead cases and to ensure that the quality of organs does not deteriorate after demise, only the kidneys and cornea can be harvested, doctors said.

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