THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Scripting a new chapter in the history of Kerala in organ donation, an air ambulance of the Navy flew down a live heart from Thiruvananthapuram to Kochi in just one-and-a-half hours.
The emergency transportation was for the transplantation of a retrieved heart of a brain-dead patient from Sri Chithira Tirunal Institute of Medical Science and Technology to Lisie Hospital, Kochi, under the guidance of Dr Jose Chacko Periyappuram.
The donor was 46-year-old advocate Neelakanda Sarma from Peroorkada, Thiruvananthapuram, whose heart was transplanted to Mathew Achadan, of Thrissur, who was hospitalised at Lisie Hospital.
According to the Kerala Network of Organ Sharing (KNOS), airlifting the organs was made possible due to the intervention of the Chief Minister. Lisie Hospital had approached the Chief Minister in this regard, they said.
The Navy’s chopper carried the harvesting team from the naval airport in Kochi to the domestic airport at Thiruvananthapuram. From there to Sri Chithira Tirunal institute of Medical Science and Technology and vice versa, a ‘Green Corridor’ was created with the help of the traffic police.
“The team reached the Sri Chithira institute at 2.30 pm on Friday. The test for assessing the viability of the organs commenced at 3.30 pm. Between 5.30 pm and 6.30 pm, the heart was harvested and it took around one-and-a-half hours to reach Kochi,” said Dr S K Jawahar, Deputy Medical Superintendent, Sri Chithira Tirunal Institute of Medical Science and Technology.
KNOS officials said the Aponiea test was conducted twice on Neelakanda Sarma who was suffering from intra ventricular hemorrhage to confirm brain death. The patient was declared brain dead around 2 pm. In no time, his wife gave consent for organ donation. “Only Lisie Hospital conducts heart transplant on patients with ‘O’ blood group,’’ the officials said. One kidney will go to Thiruvananthapuram Medical College as the patient belonged to the south zone. The other kidney will be given to a patient with ‘O’ blood group in the south zone depending upon the priority. “The liver could not be retrieved as it has increased bilirubin level,’’ they said.