8 Hours, 3 Patients, A Teamwork towards 1 Ultimate Goal– The Life

8 Hours, 3 Patients, A Teamwork towards 1 Ultimate Goal– The Life

Heart and lungs travel across the country for eight hours to save three patients at MGM Healthcare, Chennai.

9th December 2021, Chennai

Three patients at MGM Healthcare got a new lease of life after organs from deceased donors were airlifted from Chandigarh and Vishakhapatnam to perform two heart transplants of which one was a small child and one lung transplant simultaneously in three operating rooms. All the patients are recovering normally.

It was a race against time as teams coordinated the transport of the organs through Green Corridors in the three different cities.

The Team

A team of more than 60 people  lead by the chief surgeon Dr. KR Balakrishnan , head of anesthésia Dr. Suresh Rao and chief Cardiologist Dr. Ravikumar and consisting of six surgeons, seventeen anaesthetists, 40 nursing and para medical staff and six transplant coordinators were involved in this Herculean feat. 

The Process

The entire process, right from harvesting and transporting of the organs, across a total distance covering 6400 kilometres and successfully transplanting them took a total of 14 hours.

On receiving notifications about the potential donors, two teams from MGM Healthcare, Chennai left for Chandigarh and Vishakapatnam and coordinated the harvesting and transport of organs, arranging multiple green corridors to safely transport the organs of the donor to Chennai. 

From the experts

  • Speaking on the organ donations, K R Balakrishnan Director-Institute of Heart and Lung Transplant & Mechanical Circulatory Support from MGM Healthcare, said, “Travelling from Chandigarh to Chennai without a direct air connectivity is not an easy task . The team had to change two air crafts, two separate security checks in two airports and different airport gates to reach Chennai from Chandigarh after travelling over 7 hours .
  • He further added that the “cold ischemic time”, which is the time between removal of the heart from the donor and andimplanting of the heart in the recipient was 8 hours and double of the normally accepted 4 hours., . The recipient was very sick in the intensive care awaiting a donor organ for a long time.The new heart is functioning normally .  The organ from Visakhapatnam was transported using an air ambulance.We are indebted to NOTTO and TRANSTAN for making this donation possible.
  • Ananth Mohan Pai, Director – Medical services, MGM Healthcare acknowledged the decision of the donors’ families who have shown extreme benevolence in their time of personal tragedy and agreed for organ donation.
  • Harish Manian, chief executive officer, MGM Healthcare, stressed on the need for more awareness on organ donation and lauded the efforts by state and national transplant authorities in promoting organ donation.

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