In a first, a cadaver heart was ferried in an ambulance from Pune to Mumbai, saving the life of a 14-year-old Borivli boy.
A green corridor was created between the two cities to allow the heart to be brought to Mumbai in record time of 1 hour and 35 minutes. On a normal day, it would take over three hours to travel the same distance.
According to the Zonal Transplant Coordination Committee (ZTCC) officials, this was the 17th heart transplant recorded in the city.
A team of doctors from Mumbai travelled to Pune early Friday morning to retrieve the heart from a 28-year-old male donor. He was declared brain-dead at Ruby Hall Clinic, Pune, after he met with a road accident on Thursday night. Doctors said his family consented to donate the heart, kidneys and the liver.
The recipient of the heart was wait-listed by the ZTCC for more than four months.
“The boy had a heart condition called dilated cardiomyopathy. The condition was rapidly deteriorating and a transplant was absolutely essential,” said Dr Anvay Mulay, the head of cardiac transplant, Fortis Hospital, Mulund.
According to Dr S Narayani, the zonal director of Fortis, the hospital opted to transport the heart via road as flight tickets were not available at that hour. “It was phenomenal how the traffic police got together to lay out the corridor. However, we cannot use the road to transport organs on a regular basis, given the long distances and heavy traffic,” she said.
The traffic police from Pune, Thane and Mumbai laid out a plan to execute the green corridor between the two main cities to facilitate the timely arrival of the heart in Mumbai.
Dr Vijay Agarwal, the head of paediatric cardiac surgery, Fortis Hospital, said, “The transport of the heart via road led to a significant cut down of the cost.”