Heart travels 2,500 km from PGI to Chennai to save life

Five others get fresh lease of life at the institute | Donor was declared brain dead after mishap

Heart travels 2,500 km from PGI to Chennai to save life

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, December 10

A harvested heart from a deceased organ donor at the PGI here travelled around 2,500 km for a matching recipient in Chennai. The harvested heart was sent from the PGI to the international airport in Mohali in 22 minutes by creating a ‘green corridor’ for the Vistara airlines flight scheduled for departure at 3.25 pm on Wednesday.

After landing at 8.30 pm at Chennai, the retrieved heart was taken MGM Healthcare Hospital in Chennai where it was transplanted to a terminally ill 52-year-old male patient. The harvested liver, kidneys and corneas were transplanted to five patients here at the PGI.

Green corridor created

  • The harvested heart was sent from the PGI to the international airport in Mohali in 22 minutes by creating a ‘green corridor’ for a Vistara airlines flight scheduled for departure at 3.25 pm on Wednesday.
  • After landing at 8.30 pm at Chennai, the retrieved heart was taken to MGM Healthcare Hospital, Chennai, where it was transplanted to a terminally ill 52-year-old male patient.

Prof Surjeet Singh, Director, PGI, while expressing his gratitude to the donor family, said, “Timing is the key to transplantation. It is commendable that the heart was retrieved and transported within such a short span of time despite the matching recipient being 2,500 km away. We remain indebted to the donor family for consenting to save and enrich others’ lives

in their hour of indescribable grief, impacting six lives tangibly and kindling hope in many more ‘in-waiting’ recipients intangibly.”

Commending the contribution of the PGI team, he said, “The entire team, right from neurosurgeons, intensivists, nephrologists,

hepatologists, testing labs, transplant surgeons, transplant coordinators and nursing officers, worked in tandem to translate the noble wish of the donor family into actually saving precious lives.”

In an extremely unfortunate turn of events, a 45-year-old man met with a fatal accident, sustaining grievous head injury on December 4. He was rushed to the PGI. However, as his condition deteriorated and became irretrievable, he was declared brain dead at the PGI following the protocol of THOA at 11.30 pm on December 7.

The family, amid the grim tragedy of losing their dear one, displayed exceptional courage and magnanimity and consented for organ donation of their deceased relative, when counselled by the transplant coordinator at the PGI. Following the family’s consent, the heart, liver, kidneys and corneas were retrieved from the donor for transplantation to save other lives.

Since there was no matching recipient for heart here, it was allocated for a matching recipient in MGM Healthcare Hospital in Chennai with the intervention of NOTTO. The remaining retrieved organs, including liver and kidneys, were transplanted to terminally ill organ failure patients at the PGI, thereby giving them a second lease of life. The harvested corneas, on transplantation, restored the sight of two corneal blind patients, thereby influencing six lives in all, one in Chennai and other five at the PGI.

Tribune Shorts


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