Successful heart transplant conducted at city hospital

New Delhi: Sir Ganga Ram Hospital has become the first non-government institute in north India to have successfully conducted a heart transplant on a 44-year-old woman.

"We are the first private institute in northern India to have accomplished a successful heart transplant. Our achievement has impressed the government, and the Union Health
Ministry has decided to run a national organ transplant programme with our participation," Dr R S Rana, Chairman, Board of Management, SGRH, said.

The patient, Sunita, wife of a Ganga Ram Hospital employee, had been seriously unwell for several years and she could hardly get out of the confines of her bed. Her condition deteriorated so much that she had to leave her son`s marriage
midway and was rushed to the hospital.

Organ donation from a middle-aged woman has enabled Sunita to move in her room and the hospital corridors without anybody`s help, which was unthinkable for her only two weeks ago.

"I am all right now. I was a sugar patient and everytime I moved I was left gasping for breath. It is unbelievable that I am relieved of the problem," Sunita said
as she spoke from her recovery room in the Dharma Veera Heart
Centre of the hospital.

Sir Ganga Ram hospital has already conducted 2,300 successful kidney transplants, 600 liver transplants, 67 bone marrow transplants and 900 corneal transplants.

"She was diagnosed with heart disease two years ago but she did not opt for a surgical intervention as she thought that with medicines, things would improve," Dr Sujay Shad,
senior consultant cardiac surgeon at the hospital who conducted the heart transplant, said.

Sunita was brought to the hospital with severe pain in the chest on April 14. After investigations doctors suggested that heart transplant was the only solution.

"We had all facilities in place for carrying out organ transplant -- well equipped operation theatres, well trained and qualified doctors and nurses -- what we did not have was a donor. As such we sent her back home with whatever medication
we could to give her temporary relief," he said.

Premvati, mother-in-law of Sunita, said, "We got a call some 15 to 16 days back from the hospital stating that a donor has been located and Sunita should be brought to the hospital.

It was May 17 when doctors carried out the surgery."

A team of over 100 medical personnel under the supervision of Dr Shaad carried out the surgery successfully in over ten hours.

Dr Shaad said, "It was a complex surgery that leaves no scope for error. Since the new heart does not match Sunita`s genetic make-up she is likely to mount an immune attack on it.

This is part of the recovery process."


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