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Green corridor helps donor heart grafting in Delhi hospital

IANS | New Delhi |

A donor heart, airlifted from Chandigarh, was safely delivered at Fortis Escorts Heart Institute here in two hours, thanks to a green corridor.

A green corridor created on Thursday covered a distance of 18 km from Delhi's Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport to the Fortis Escorts Heart Institute in just 18 minutes, said a release on Friday. 

The donor, a 32-year-old female from Faridabad, was declared brain dead after being on ventilator support for three weeks at Post Graduate Institute Hospital, Chandigarh.

The heart was successfully transplanted on a 13-year-old teenager from Agra, who was suffering from a heart failure due to viral myocarditis and also had an ejection fraction of barely 15-20 per cent, whereas normal heart functions at 55-60 per cent.

"When we first heard that the donor was a 32-year-old person, it looked that the match might not be possible. However, the body weight of the donor matched with the recipient and hence their chest cavities were nearly comparable, though we still had to use special techniques to connect arteries of the donor heart with those of the recipient," ZS Meharwal, Director (Cardiovascular Surgery and Transplant Surgery), Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, said in a statement on Friday. 

The donor's family consented to donate heart, kidneys and liver, following which the harvested heart was flown down to Delhi by a chartered flight. 

"It was unfortunate we did not get the cooperation of the commercial airlines in bringing the heart from Chandigarh to Delhi, and thus did so in a chartered flight," said Ashok Seth, Chairman at Fortis Escorts Heart Institute.

"I would urge the Ministry of Civil Aviation to consider regulations in which all stakeholders, including airlines, develop policies to become an integral part of this life-saving effort," Seth said.