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Heart transported from Mumbai to Delhi for transplant surgery in 2.5 hours

A heart harvested from a 42-year-old man in Mumbai was today transported aerially and through green corridors to a hospital in Delhi, covering a distance of about 1,100 km in over two-and-a-half hours, officials said. The heart is to be transplanted into a 53-year-old woman and an operation is currently underway, hospital authorities said. A green corridor was created between Mumbai and Delhi to carry a heart to Fortis Escorts Heart Institute (FEHI), Okhla. The organ was transported aerially and through streets in both the cities, covering a distance of 1,178 km in two-and-a-half hours, a spokesperson of the hospital said. The recipient is suffering from dilated cardiomyopathy, a condition in which the heart becomes enlarged and cannot pump blood effectively, the hospital said. A team of doctors led by Z S Meharwal, Director, Cardio Thoracic Vascular Surgery, FEHI, are performing the surgery. The male donor had suffered serious injuries in a road accident and was declared brain dead despite best efforts at the Global Hospital in Mumbai. The heart was then airlifted at 03:15 PM from the Mumbai airport and reached the Delhi airport at 05:05 PM, the spokesperson said. Another green corridor from the Delhi airport to FEHI was then created spanning 23 km in 23 minutes. A green corridor was provided from Indira Gandhi International Airport T3 to FEHI. The journey started at 5:07 PM and the heart reached the hospital at 5.30 PM. The route taken was the IGIA-NH8-RTR-Munirka-Malviya Nagar-Nehru Place-FEHI, a senior official of the Delhi Traffic said. Meharwal said a heart transplant is a critical surgery where timing is the key. It is commendable that a live heart was retrieved and transported within such a short span of time. Organ donation, as a cause, is yet to take off in a major way, but such examples of swift coordination gives us immense confidence. There is a need to increase awareness about this noble cause, the doctor said.

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