HYDERABAD:Coordination between airport authorities, traffic police of Hyderabad and Bengaluru and a bold initiative by doctors of Yashoda hospital in the city, on Saturday, saw successful inter-state transportation of a live heart in less than two and a half hours. With this, Telangana state joins the prestigious league of states who have successfully performed inter-state transportation.
Recipient of the heart, Padma, a 46-year old patient from Kothagudem in Khammam district, has been suffering from severe heart failure for over two years. After having applied for a heart through Jeevandan programme a month and a half ago, she has been combating death.
In the wee hours of Saturday, at about 2 a.m., senior cardiac surgeon at Yashoda Dr AGK Gokhale was informed by doctors in Bengaluru’s Victoria hospital about the availability of a live heart from a brain dead person. After the family of Pandit Shivaraj Baje (30), who met with a road accident on February 26 night and was declared brain dead on Saturday, agreed for donating the heart, a five-member team of doctors from Yashoda took a chartered flight to Bengaluru by 7 a.m.
After examining the donor’s heart including blood group and tissue for suitability, a surgery was performed on the deceased at 11.30 a.m. and the team left the hospital with the heart at 11.40 a.m. towards Bengaluru’s HAL airport. They covered 15 km on road in 10 minutes and boarded the chartered six-seater jet plane to Begumpet airport and reached Hyderabad at 1.27 p.m. With the assistance from Hyderabad Traffic Police, they could cover the distance between Begumpet airport and the hospital in 2.45 minutes. The surgery on the patient started at 1.45 p.m.
“A normal heart’s blood pumping capacity is 60 per cent. Padma’s heart had only 20 per cent ejection fraction. It is a very difficult situation and takes a toll on the patient’s quality of life. We had to perform the surgery at the earliest and were looking for a heart via Jeevandan but fortunately we found a heart in Bengaluru,” said Dr R Chandrashekar, chief operating officer, Yashoda hospital. He further pointed out that the hospital has taken the responsibility of the live heart’s transportation charges.
Heart transplantation surgery on the patient, he said, took 6-8 hours and it was successful. She should come out of the ICU in two days and in about 2-3 weeks, she would be discharged and in a few months she can lead a normal life, he added. This is the fourth heart transplantation surgery performed successfully at Yashoda, the recent one being only three days ago. Without the surgery on Saturday, the patient would have survived only for a few more weeks, the doctor said.
‘’Organ donation by a single brain dead person can save 5 or 6 families,” he said.