Green corridor helps heart travel 22 kms in just 39 minutes for successful transplant

Peak hour traffic and Prime Minister’s movement made way for a beating heart which raced through the distance of 21.9 kilometers in 38 minutes and 55 seconds from Gurgaon to Delhi to save the life of a 13-year-old boy. The heart of a 34-year-old road accident victim was transported through a green corridor from Fortis Memorial Research Institute in Gurgaon to All India Institute of Medical Sciences in neighbouring Delhi.

The AIIMS cardiac transplant team arrived at the facility at 6am and the heart was harvested at 9:15 am. The ambulance left the premises at 9:17 am to reach AIIMS crossing MG Road, Chattarpur, IIT and Green Park in the next 38 minutes, 55 seconds.

The donor, breathed his last in FMRI on Tuesday night after he had met with a road accident on the Alwar Bypass road in Bhiwadi, earlier that evening. The patient succumbed to the fatal injuries on his head with the neurosurgery team of the hospital failing to revive him.

Fortunately for the teenager, in dire need of a transplant, the doner's family agreed to donate the heart, liver and both the kidneys. While the heart went to AIIMS, the liver was transplanted into a 40 year-old man. One kidney was transplanted to save the life of a 31-year-old woman while the second was transplanted into a 47-year-old man. All the surgeries, of liver and both kidneys, took place at FMRI facility.

The second Green Corridor, created in a month, between the neighbouring states of Haryana and Delhi received full co-operation of traffic police in both states. Friday’s cadaveric heart is second donation of the week at FMRI. On Monday, the heart of a 44-year-old brain dead patient from Bijwasan in Delhi was transplanted in a 54-year-old Gurgaon resident.

Speaking of the organ donation by the family, Jasdeep Singh, Zonal Director, FMRI said, “I am very thankful to the family for having agreed to donate His organs gave a new lease of life to four individuals, one of them a 13- year-old boy.”

According to Dr. Atamjot Grewal, Director, Medical services FMRI, “This being the second donation within a week defines the beginning of a new era of awareness and humanity. Most surgeons prefer to transplant the heart within 4 hours of its removal; the lungs within 8 hours, liver and small intestine in 12 hours, pancreas in 18 hours and kidneys in 24 hours. Rapid transit of organs between hospitals is, thus, plays a vital role in saving human lives.”

Organ donation after brain death is a concept that is gradually gaining ground in India. According to Dr Avnish Seth, Director Fortis Organ Retrieval and Transplant (FORT),
"One can feel the change happening in the country. More and more families are saying yes to organ donation and want to help in saving lives. The Transplantation of Human Organs and Tissues Rules 2014 have provided a clear road map in streamlining the process of declaration of brain death,documentation and organ retrieval."

"The police are extremely helpful in providing medico-legal clearance in cases of death resulting from road accidents and in enabling green corridors for the rapid transport of organs. The act of donating an organ is among the most elevating, humane and noble of acts that deserves recognition of the highest order," said Dr Seth.

Earlier cadaveric donations:

  1. October 5 – 44-year-old brain dead Malti donated her heart, liver and both kidneys to save the lives of four patients. While a kidney was given to the Army R&R Hospital, the remaining three organs were transplanted at the FMRI – No Green Corridor
  2. September 2015 – A 59-year-old man from an area neighbouring Gurgaon donated his heart, liver and both kidneys. The Heart was sent to Fortis Escorts Heart Institute (FEHI), Delhi, through a Green Corridor and was transplanted in a 23-year-old terminally ill woman.
  3. January 2015 – A 30-year-old engineer donated his heart, liver and both kidneys. The Heart was sent through a Green Corridor to FEHI to be transplanted in a 16-year-old boy.
  4. North India’s first and India’s third Mechanical Heart (Heart Mate II) transplant was carried out in September last year at FMRI in a 29-year-old critically ill Iraqi patient.

The significance of these transplants

  1. First MLC heart transplant in the State
  2. Clockwork precision between the police departments of three states – Rajasthan, Haryana and Delhi to make the entire donation process seamless
  3. Saves life of a young 13-year-old boy

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