News/City Updates

Organs airlifted from Vizag and Chandigarh; save 3 lives in Chennai

Racing against time, organs from deceased donors were airlifted from Vizag and Chandigarh to the MGM Healthcare Hospital in Chennai. Thereby, giving a new lease of life to three people. Of the three, two of them, including a child, underwent a heart transplant and the other a lung transplant. 

Reportedly, the process of harvesting and transportation of the organs, across 6,400 km, and transplantation, took 14 hours. While the organ from Vizag was airlifted and transported directly, using an air ambulance, the organs from Chandigarh had to change two aircrafts and undergo two security checks. This took over seven hours of travel time. It was truly a race against time as the teams had to coordinate the transport of the organs through green corridors within three cities. 

The team was led by the Director of the Institute of Heart and Lung Transplant and Mechanical Circulatory Support, Chief Surgeon, Dr K R Balakrishnan. He told the media that the cold ischemic time – the time between the removal of the heart from the donor and transplanting in the recipient – was eight hours. This was double the normally accepted time. The recipient in Chennai, was very sick and had been awaiting a donor organ in the intensive care unit for a long time. 

The MGM Healthcare Hospital stated in a press release, that upon receiving notification about the potential donors, two teams from the hospital rushed to Chandigarh and Visakhapatnam. They immediately coordinated the harvesting, transport of organs, and in addition arranged multiple green corridors. A team of 60 people, being led by the Chief Surgeon Dr K R Balakrishnan, Head of Anesthesia, Dr Suresh Rao and Chief Cardiologist Dr Ravikumar, were involved in this herculean feat. Six surgeons, 17 anaesthetists, 40 nursing and paramedical staff besides 6 transplant coordinators were part of the team.

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