A 41-year-old man from Delhi, who had reached end-stage heart failure, got a new lease of life after undergoing a successful transplant surgery at a city hospital, where he was kept on a high-end device till the organ was received.
Shubhankar Dhar Choudhary was brought to the private hospital in south Delhi "on a ventilator" in February 2015 and within a few days, was put on an LVAD (left ventricular assist device) as his condition had worsened, doctors said.
LVAD is a pump that is used for patients who have reached end-stage of heart failure. It is inserted inside the patient with thin wire emerging out of the body linked to a power source outside.
"The patient had suffered from multiple episodes in 2013 like arrythmia, vomiting, severe perspiration and dizziness and was given a pacemaker. In 2015, he was brought to Max Saket," a spokesperson of the hospital said.
Mr Choudhary and 71-year old R P Garg, whom the hospital claims to be the "first receiver of Heart Mate III LVAD implant in India in 2016", interacted with reporters today and shared their experiences at an event held at the hospital.
"Choudhary underwent a heart transplant in May when a cadaveric heart was flown from Jaipur for the surgery. The LVAD was removed only when the heart arrived at the hospital and thus it allowed him that window of sustenance, which otherwise would not have been possible," the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson claimed that the 41-year-old patient had to be revived "13 times" through injections as his condition would worsen on and off.
Kewal Krishan, Director of Heart Transplant and Ventricular Assist Devices, at Max Saket, who treated him, said, "in a case like his, the LVAD came as a bridge to transplant, prolonging his life enough to be able to receive a transplant".
"India has a long way to go before we can match the demand for heart transplants in the country. There is a dire need to aggressively spread awareness about the colossal gap that exists between the organ donors and those who need it in India," he said.
Though there are more than 10 lakh people suffering from end-stage organ failure, only around 3,500 organ transplants are performed every year, Mr Krishan said.
"This scenario proves to be especially fatal for those who are battling with end-stage heart failure and can't wait for a heart to be available. LVAD for these patients is a blessing," he said.
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