MGM Healthcare performs five transplant surgeries in 30 hours

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K.R. Balakrishnan, Director of the Institute of Heart and Lung Transplant and Mechanical Circulatory Support at MGM Healthcare, addressing mediapersons in Chennai on Wednesday.

K.R. Balakrishnan, Director of the Institute of Heart and Lung Transplant and Mechanical Circulatory Support at MGM Healthcare, addressing mediapersons in Chennai on Wednesday.
| Photo Credit: M. SRINATH

 

In a rare feat, transplant surgeons at MGM Healthcare performed five organ transplants in 30 hours.

Four hearts and a lung were transplanted on five different patients between 1.10 p.m. on May 25 and 5.15 p.m. on May 26.

Of the recipients was a 60-year-old man, who underwent a heart transplant on May 25. He received the organ from a city hospital. It was harvested at 1.10 p.m. and brought to MGM Healthcare at 1.50 p.m.The second patient was a 50-year-old man, for whom the donation came from the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital. A deceased donor’s heart and lungs were harvested at 10.52 p.m. and brought to the transplant centre at 11.05 p.m. The third patient, a 67-year-old man, underwent bilateral lung transplant.

A 40-year-old man registered with MGM received a donation from a person who was declared brain-dead at the hospital. The deceased’s heart was harvested at 11.44 a.m. on May 26 and transplanted. The same day, the heart of a donor from a Coimbatore-based hospital was harvested and airlifted at 4 p.m. to Chennai. It reached MGM at 5.15 p.m, and was transplanted on a 50-year-old man.

K.R. Balakrishnan, Director of the Institute of Heart and Lung Transplant and Mechanical Circulatory Support at the hospital, said, “From transplant coordinators to the surgical team, nurses and post-operative care units, every member played a crucial role in ensuring that these five complex transplants were successfully carried out. The pressure was immense as every second counts and the margin for error is virtually non-existent…”

K.G. Suresh Rao, co-director of the institute, said that the unit had performed over 650 heart and lung transplants so far. “The timing of organ availability is unpredictable. Such back-to-back surgeries require good infrastructure a dedicated and an informed team with full commitment, and coordination…,”

Dr. Rao said the hospital had received around 35 calls from hospitals about brain dead donors, and retrieved 14 hearts and a lung.

Soumitra Sinha Roy, senior consultant and clinical lead, Interventional pulmonary and lung transplant programme, said that the transplants were stupendous, given that the organs had to be brought to the hospital by commercial jets.

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