B’lore Police ensure hitch-free ride to Chennai for donated heart

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Bangalore/Chennai(DHNS): The Bangalore City police on a busy Wednesday afternoon stretched themselves to create a traffic-free (green) corridor.

For once, it was not for a VVIP but for a harvested heart that had to reach Chennai in less than six hours for transplantation. The efforts proved successful. The “blue box” containing the heart reached the Chennai hospital within the stipulated time and the transplant went through without a hitch.

Minute-to-minute coordination between various agencies in Bangalore helped the blue box reach the Kempegowda International Airport from Kengeri, a distance of 47.8 km, in 47 minutes. In normal traffic, an ambulance would have taken twice this time.

Two specialists from BGS Global Hospitals were entrusted with the responsibility of the blue box. The box was lined with thermocol insulation containing organ transplant fluid and was maintained at a sub-zero temperature.

B Dayananda, Additional Commissioner of Police (Traffic) told Deccan Herald that they were alerted at 12 noon following which a quick plan of action was designed.

“First, we figured the route the ambulance would take. A traffic-free corridor was created with the police standing by all along the roads. The traffic control room coordinated the process well,” he said.

A waiting Air India flight with its door open picked up the blue box and in minutes took off for Chennai.

The donor was a 30-year-old female brain dead patient at the BGS Global Hospitals. The heart had to be transported to the Fortis Malar in Chennai where a person whose heart had failed was waiting to receive it.

Once the patient in Bangalore was declared brain dead on Tuesday, it took three hours for the Zonal Coordination Committee for Organ Transplantation in Karnataka to convince the family to donate her organs. Early Wednesday, the family of the patient gave its consent. A flurry of activity followed.

The donor had met with an accident near Hosur. Dr Venkataramana, vice-president, BGS Global Hospitals said she met with an accident on August 31 while riding pillion on a two-wheeler. On seeing that the tyre had got punctured, she tried to jump off the vehicle only to fall down head first. She was seriously injured which led to brain death. She is survived by her husband and two daughters.

The blue box reached Chennai at 4:30 pm. It took eight minutes to reach the hospital from the airport, a distance of 12 km. The police there had made arrangements similar to their Bangalore counterparts. The heart transplant procedure started immediately and by 8:30 pm it was done. Doctors said the patient was doing well. “All the health parameters are satisfactory,” said a doctor.

A four-member team led by a cardiac surgeon, a cardiac anaesthetist and two nurses performed the operation. Two transplantation coordinators monitored the entire process.

The 40-year-old recepient is from Maharashtra. Harish Manian, facility director, Fortis Malar Hospital Chennai, said: “Transplantation coordinators alerted us to the brain dead patient in Bangalore. A cross match was done by a team of doctors for acceptability at both ends.”

He also appreciated the Bangalore police commissioner’s effort to bring the harvested heart in quick time. “We were all sceptical. But, they did the job remarkably well,” he said.

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