Doctors, traffic police and airport officials in Bangalore and Chennai transported a live heart over 350km in just over two hours on Wednesday. “This is the first time we’re attempting an interâ€”state heart transplant. A heart can be kept in cold storage for up to four hours, but we gave ourselves a window of three hours. In the end, it was done in two hours,” said Harish Manian, facility director, Fortis Malar hospital, Chennai.
A 55â€”km stretch from BGS Global Hospital, Kengeri, in South Bangalore to Kempegowda International Airport in North Bangalore turned into a signalâ€”free corridor on Wednesday between 2.10pm and 2.55pm. For 45 minutes, this green corridor opened up like a red carpet for the live heart being transported on Air India flight AI 264 which took off from KIA at 3.22pm.
At Chennai airport, the ambulance was allowed to through a special gate right up to the tarmac and Chennai Traffic Police take over. “It took us seven minutes – from 4.30pm to 4.37pm â€” to cover the 12km from the airport to the hospital,” said a senior traffic official who planned the transfer. The ambulance whizzed past 11 junctions to reach the hospital. Each junction had three policemen to man the traffic and a patrol vehicle was on standby.
The donor, a 32â€”yearâ€”old homemaker married to a carpenter and mother of two children, met with a road accident near Hosur, Tamil Nadu on August 31. She was riding pillion when a tyre burst, throwing her off the bike. She was taken to BGS Global Hospital in Bangalore for treatment.
“She was brought to hospital in a critical condition. Despite our best efforts, there was no improvement. She was declared brainâ€”dead around 6pm Tuesday. We spoke to the family, and they agreed for a cadaver transplant. We started coordinating with the Zonal Coordination Committee of Karnataka (ZCCK). Potential donors were identified for two kidneys and the liver,” said Dr Venkataramana NK, viceâ€”chairman and chief neurosurgeon, BGS Global Hospitals.