22-year-old gets Mumbai's first heart transplant since 1968

  • Priyanka Vora, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Aug 03, 2015 20:17 IST

Doctors at Fortis Hospital, Mulund, announced Mumbai’s first heart transplant since an unsuccessful attempt way back in 1968. A 22-year-old man from Badlapur with heart failure caused by dilated cardiomyopathy received the donated heart on Monday. "The patient is stable. The transplanted heart is stable," said Dr S Narayani, zonal director, Fortis hospital.

The organ was taken from a brain-dead patient at Pune’s Jehangir Hospital and was brought to the city in the afternoon by air. Authorities in Pune created a ‘green corridor’ to enable the ambulance carrying the heart to reach Pune airport, nearly 11km away. The ambulance, it has been reported, took only seven minutes to cover the distance. The Mumbai police then created a 'green corridor' between Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport and Fortis hospital, ensuring the heart was transported in precisely 18 minutes. It took authorities an hour to transport the heart from Pune to Mumbai, a journey that would normally take them around four hours.

The heart’s donor was a 45-year-old woman, who had a brain aneurysm — a condition that can cause a blood vessel to rupture — following which, she was declared brain dead at the hospital. Social workers in Pune said it was a proud moment for them. “It is challenging to convince families to donate their heart. Here, the family was very motivated. They told us to take all the organs that can help others,” said Aarti Gokhale, in-charge of the zonal transplant coordination committee, Pune.

Doctors at Fortis Hospital, which is scheduled to hold a press conference later this evening to announce the surgery, said this was the city’s first heart transplant operation. In 1968, surgeon Dr PK Sen had attempted heart transplants at the municipal KEM Hospital, but the trial reportedly was not successful. Chennai is the main centre for heart transplants in the country, and since 2008, the city has reported 135 cases.

The 22-year-old was one of three people on the waiting list for a transplant. The other two patients, including a six-year-old-child, have died.

* 2.38pm: Heart taken from Jehangir hospital
* 2.45pm: Heart reaches Pune airpoty
* 2.55pm: Flight takes off
* 3.20pm: Flight lands in Mumbai
* 3.38pm: Heart reaches Fortis hospital

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