A heart harvested from a 42-year-old man in Mumbai was today transported aerially and through green corridors to a hospital in Delhi, covering a distance of about 1,100 km in over two-and-a-half hours, officials said.
The heart is to be transplanted into a 53-year-old woman and an operation is currently underway, hospital authorities said.
"A green corridor was created between Mumbai and Delhi to carry a heart to Fortis Escorts Heart Institute (FEHI), Okhla. The organ was transported aerially and through streets in both the cities, covering a distance of 1,178 km in two-and-a-half hours," a spokesperson of the hospital said.
The recipient is suffering from dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition in which the heart becomes enlarged and cannot pump blood effectively, the hospital said.
A team of doctors led by ZS Meharwal, Director, Cardio Thoracic Vascular Surgery, FEHI, are performing the surgery.
"The male donor had suffered serious injuries in a road accident and was declared brain dead despite best efforts at the Global Hospital in Mumbai. The heart was then airlifted at 03:15 PM from the Mumbai airport and reached the Delhi airport at 05:05 PM," the spokesperson said.
Another green corridor from the Delhi airport to Fotis Hospital was then created spanning 23 km in 23 minutes.
"A green corridor was provided from Indira Gandhi International Airport T3 to FEHI. The journey started at 5:07 PM and the heart reached the hospital at 5.30 PM. The route taken was the IGIA-NH8-RTR-Munirka-Malviya Nagar-Nehru Place-FEHI," a senior official of the Delhi Traffic said.
Mr Meharwal said a heart transplant is a critical surgery where timing is the key.
"It is commendable that a live heart was retrieved and transported within such a short span of time. Organ donation, as a cause, is yet to take off in a major way, but such examples of swift coordination gives us immense confidence. There is a need to increase awareness about this noble cause," the doctor said.
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