Air Ambulance used for first time in Kerala to transport heart

In a first such effort in organ transplantation in Kerala, an air ambulance -- a Naval aircraft -- was used to transport a heart harvested from a brain dead patient here for a recipient in Kochi.

Thiruvananthapuram: In a first such effort in organ transplantation in Kerala, an air ambulance -- a Naval aircraft -- was used to transport a heart harvested from a brain dead patient here for a recipient in Kochi.

The air ambulance was arranged to airlift the heart following the intervention of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, official sources said.

A team of doctors who arrived here from Kochi by 1.30 pm, harvested the organ from Neelakantan Sharma, declared brain dead this morning at the Sree Chitra Institute of Medical Sciences and Technology here.

Sharma, who was suffering from paralysis, had been undergoing treatment at the hospital since July 5.

The harvest surgery was completed around 6.30 pm and the heart was immediately taken to the airport from where Navy's Dornier aircraft transported it to Kochi for transplantation on Mathews, a patient at the Lisse Hospital, hospital officials said.

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