Setback: 15 days on, PGI’s 1st lung transplant recipient dies | punjab$chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Setback: 15 days on, PGI’s 1st lung transplant recipient dies

Doctors have cited “generalised infection” as the reason behind her death.

punjab Updated: Jul 27, 2017 12:43 IST
Tanbir Dhaliwal
The lung recipient was a 34-year-old Sangrur woman, who was suffering from interstitial lung disease (ILD). Her lungs were 95% damaged.
The lung recipient was a 34-year-old Sangrur woman, who was suffering from interstitial lung disease (ILD). Her lungs were 95% damaged.(HT File )

Fifteen days after surgery, the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education Research (PGIMER)’s first lung transplant recipient died on Tuesday night.

Doctors have cited “generalised infection” as the reason behind her death. The lung recipient was a 34-year-old Sangrur woman, who was suffering from interstitial lung disease (ILD). Her lungs were 95% damaged.

The woman was suffering from the ailment for a couple of years, and was brought to the PGIMER after her condition deteriorated in February. She underwent lung transplant on July 11. According to the Indian legislation, the name and identity of the recipient cannot be revealed.

The surgeons said the operation was a success, but the patient developed infection after a few days. “The patient was doing relatively fine but had developed infection, which became the cause of her death. There was no organ rejection,” said Dr Ashutosh Aggarwal of the pulmonary medicine.

PGI’s poor track record
  • Heart: The PGIMER’s first heart recipient died in January 2014, six months after the transplant
  • Liver: In 2011, the first liver recipient died within a month of the srugery
  • Pancreas: In December 2014, doctors had to remove the organ from the patient within two weeks of the first pancreas transplant.

‘Was responding to treatment’

“My wife had started responding to the treatment,” said the recipient’s husband. “She had started talking again and had even started eating on her own. I hoped she would survive, but doctors could not save her despite best efforts.”

Her condition started deteriorating on Saturday morning and doctors performed a surgery. “But she did not open her eyes after that. On Tuesday night, I was told that she is no more,” said the husband.

“The patient’s death will not deter us from performing second lung transplant. as surgically we did not encounter any problem,” said a doctor.

In end, fear comes true

Total transplants
  • Organ Started in Surgeries
  • Kidney 1996 238
  • Liver201130
  • Heart 2013 4
  • Pancreas 2014 11
  • Lung 2017 1

PGIMER surgeons had been planning to conduct lung transplant since 2013, when the institute got the clearance. Finally, on July 11, they performed the institute’s first lung transplant after family of a brain dead youth from Moga agreed to donate organs.

A team of over 20 surgeons and paramedics spent over 12 hours in the operation theatre, performing four organ transplants, lung transplant being the most challenging.

With it, the institute became first in the northern region and probably first government hospital in the country to perform lung transplant. Talking to Hindustan Times, a surgeon had said that lung transplant is not very complicated in comparison to transplanting other organs, but the results are not very encouraging.

Their fear came true in the end.