Chennai 17th August, 17: A 22 year old young lady met with a road traffic accident and sustained severe head injury in Pune, Maharastra on 16th August 2017 (Wednesday). She was rushed to the Ruby Hall Clinic at Pune for emergency treatment. However the patient was declared ‘brain dead’ on the same day by the doctors in the hospital. This gave a rare opportunity for him to save the lives of other patients who were suffering from end-stage organ failure. The family members of the brain dead young woman, even at the hour of extreme grief, magnanimously came forward to donate her organs, so that others can live and she too will continue to exist in this world by giving life to them.
One such patient was admitted at the Gleneagles Global Health City, Chennai, with an Interstitial Lung Disease. She was on artificial oxygen support and was awaiting her chance for a donor lung for transplantation.
Longest haul of donated Lungs in India
The transplant co-ordination team at Gleneagles Global Health City, received an alert about the availability of a suitable donor in Pune, through the TRANSTAN, the apex body that governs Organ transplantations in Tamilnadu. The distance is definitely a challenge to any logistics team in the world. However, this particular team at Gleneagles Global Hospitals, Chennai has ample experience in handling long distance hauls of donated organs. In fact they have set a national record by transporting a beating heart from Delhi to Chennai (2184 kms to be precise), in March early this year.
The organ retrieval team immediately rushed to Pune and the initial assessment found the organ to be suitable for the ailing patient here at Chennai. One of the lungs was harvested, by the thoracic organ transplant team at 1:30 am this morning (17th August 2017) and was rushed to the Pune airport by road. The flight carrying the organs and the transplant team landed at 4:30 am in the Chennai international airport, under an overcast sky. The organ reached Gleneagles Global Health City in Perumbakkam in less than 15 minutes.
Dr Sandeep Attawar and his team of transplant surgeons successfully transplanted the lung to the patient who was suffering from and end stage lung disease.
Long distance haul of donated organs have been commonplace in many of the developed nations in the Western Hemisphere. However transporting an organ this far a distance takes immense expertise and experience, apart from innumerable clearances from several Government and private bodies, which include District Collectorates, Police departments, Fire and Rescue departments, Revenue Departments, PWD departments and the Aviation department.
It is notable that this organ would have been become unusable, if this effort had not been made and the patient waiting here in Chennai would have been forced to wait furthermore for a suitable donor. However this mammoth task has been accomplished using only available public transport services, by some frugal logistics planning and perseverance of the transplant co-ordination team at Gleneagles Global Hospitals.
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