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Heart travels 2,500 km from Chandigarh to recipient in Chennai

Chandigarh, Dec 10, 2021- Chandigarh witnessed another milestone in organ donation as for the first time a harvested heart from a deceased organ donor in PGIMERA here travelled around 2,500 km for a matching recipient in Chennai.

The harvested heart was sent from the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) to the international airport in Mohali in 22 minutes by creating a ‘green corridor’ for the flight scheduled for departure at 3.25 p.m. on Wednesday.

After landing at 8.30 p.m. in Chennai, the retrieved heart was taken to MGM Healthcare Hospital in Chennai where it was transplanted to a terminally ill 52-year-old male patient.

The harvested liver, kidneys and corneas were transplanted to five patients here in the PGIMER.

Surjeet Singh, Director PGIMER, while expressing his gratitude to the donor family, said, “Timing is the key in transplantation. It is commendable that the heart was retrieved and transported within such a short span of time despite the matching recipient being 2,500 km away.

“We remain indebted to the donor family for consenting to save and enrich others’ lives in their hour of indescribable grief, impacting six lives tangibly.”

Commending the contribution by the PGIMER team, the director said, “The entire team right from neurosurgeons, intensivists, nephrologists, hepatologists, testing labs, transplant surgeons, transplant coordinators and nursing officers worked in tandem to translate the noble wish of the donor family into actually saving precious lives.”

In an extremely unfortunate turn of events, a 45-year-old man met with an accident, sustaining grievous head injury on December 4. He was rushed to the PGIMER. However, as his condition deteriorated and became irretrievable, he was declared brain dead here on December 7.

The family, amid the grim tragedy, displayed courage and magnanimity and consented for organ donation of their relative, when counseled by the transplant coordinator at the PGIMER.

Following the family’s consent, heart, liver, kidneys and corneas were retrieved from the donor for transplantation to save other lives.

Since, there was no matching recipient for heart here; it was allocated for a matching recipient in the MGM Healthcare Hospital in Chennai with the intervention of NOTTO.

Rest of the retrieved organs, including liver and kidneys, were transplanted to the terminally ill organ failure patients in the PGIMER, thereby giving them a second lease of life.

The harvested corneas, on transplantation, restored the sight of two corneal blind patients, thereby influencing six lives in all, one in Chennai and other five in the PGIMER.  (Agency)

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