CHENNAI: Despite swathes of traffic clogging up NH 4 near Sriperumbudur, two ambulance drivers kept their adrenaline levels up by driving a heart, a kidney and a liver from Vellore to Chennai in just over 90 minutes. They were accompanied by separate police escort vehicles for the duration of the 133 kilometer drive from CMC, Vellore - the hospital where the organs of a 23-year-old donor were harvested on Monday afternoon. Having started from Vellore at 5.40 pm, they reached the hospital in Mogappair at 7.10 pm.
The driver of the ambulance from Madras Medical Mission, who transported the heart along with the harvest team led by Dr Anbarasu, said that there were a few anxious moments, "The police escort was with us the entire distance and we were making good time on the highway, but near Sriperumbudur there was a large line of cars blocking the road," said M Saravanan, the driver who was on his second transplant run. Traffic. Despite the police having opened up two separate green corridors, the stockpile had been caused by employees trying to find their way home.
They quickly maneuvered into every possible gap until a Highway Patrol vehicle joined the action, "They quickly cleared a path through the remaining traffic and all the signals had been switched to green, so we managed to make it without losing too much more time," he said. Post harvest, hearts have excellent survival capability when harvested within 4-6 hours. They managed it in a fourth of that window. "I'm just happy we made it. The last heart I drove was given to a patient from Royapuram and I was told that he went back home and Is happy with his family. I hope god is as kind to this person as well," he added thoughtfully.
The heart is being transplanted to a 32-year-old techie working with Polaris, who first developed heart trouble a year ago, "His condition worsened three weeks ago and he was in a supra-urgent state needing a transplant to survive. That is why he was allotted the organ when a match came up, even though it was in Vellore," said a MMM spokesperson. The transplant is expected to take 4-5 hours and will end by midnight.
The other ambulance headed to Global Health City in Perumbakkam, where the liver transplant team have been on standby - waiting to receive the organ and begin the arduous transplant process.