The organ, harvested in Andhra Pradesh’s Kakinada, was flown in to the city late on Sunday night. A chartered flight, carrying the heart touched down at NSCBI Airport at 11.45pm. The organ was brought to a hospital off EM Bypass through a green corridor a little after midnight. The dilated cardiomyopathy patient was wheeled in to the OT and the surgery started when reports last came in.
With this, the city witnessed the second heart transplant this year. This surgery, too, took place at Fortis Hospital, Anandapur, that had scripted history on May 21 when it conducted the first heart transplant in eastern India. At that time the heart was flown in from Bangalore, while the recipient was rushed in from Jharkhand.
This time the heart was harvested from a 24-year-old accident victim, who died on Saturday. The youth’s family decided to donate his organs once doctors informed them that he had suffered an irreversible brain-death. Fortis Hospital, which had been trying for a second heart transplant, was allocated the organ.
“Since there is no direct flight between Kolkata and Kakinada, a chartered flight was used,” said a source. The nearest airport to Kakinada is Rajahmundry, located around 68 km from the headquarters of this East Godavari district.
The recipient is suffering from dilated cardiomyopathy. He had been undergoing treatment at the heart failure clinic of Fortis for months now. Since a transplant was the most viable treatment option for him, his name was registered with NOTTO (National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation).
“The coordination between NOTTO in Delhi, ROTTO (Regional Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation) head-quartered in Kolkata and State Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation in Andhra Pradesh started on Saturday night itself. Finally, the organ was allocated to Fortis Hospital,” said a source in the West Bengal health department.
Even while the organ allocation issues were worked out by the three agencies, the recipient was called in by the hospital. Dutta was admitted to the hospital on Sunday morning and the medical team in Kolkata started preparing for the transplant surgery. Another transplant team from Fortis, Malar was also flown in for the surgery.
On May 21, Dilchand Singh (39), a tutor from Jharkhand, underwent eastern India’s first heart transplant surgery. Dilchand was sent back home on June 10 and he is doing well now.