17-year boy from a very low socio-economic background from nearby village of Belagavi taluka was admitted on 8th February, 2021 with severe heart failure and was diagnosed with end stage heart failure (Dilated Cardiomyopathy) by Dr. Veeresh Manvi, Paediatric Cardiologist. Dilated Cardiomyopathy is a rare condition which causes weakness of the heart muscle making it difficult to pump blood properly. He had difficulty in breathing, was on oxygen support, barely could walk few feet and had swelling in his legs. Team of Consultants lead by Dr. Richard Saldanha, Chief of Cardiac Surgery carried out extensive investigations and reached to a conclusion that heart transplant was the only option & could save the life of a child. All the relevant investigations for heart transplant were conducted and he was registered with ‘Jeevsarthakathe’, Bengaluru, the Organ transplant authority, Government of Karnataka.
52 years male was being treated by Senior Physician Dr. V A Kothiwale. The patient had suffered a stroke and was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of the Hospital. The brain had suffered irreversible damage and he was on a ventilator. The relatives were counseled by treating physician Dr. Kothiwale and Transplant Coordinators of the Hospital for organ donation. The parents voluntarily came forward & willingly consented for organ donation. The brain death declaration was performed twice in the span of 6 hours as per Govt. of India Gazette notification. Dr. Ravishankar Naik, Head of Neuro Medicine and Dr. Ambarish Nerlikar, Intensivist certified the brain death declaration. It was confirmed that the patient was brain dead and the heart function was good enough for retrieval & transplantation. Jeevsarthakathe, Benagaluru gave consent for heart transplantation.
On 26th February, 2021 late night, the donor heart was retrieved and transplanted to 17 years recipient. Perfect synchronizing was ensured between the retrieval & implantation team. The orthotopic heart transplantation technique was used in heart transplantation said Dr. Richard. The recipient’s heart was excised and was inserted by the donor heart in the normal anatomic position. On transplantation & anastomosis of arteries, heart started beating to the normal rhythm. The post-operative care was jointly managed by team of Cardiac Surgeons, Anaesthetists, Cardiologists, intensive care nurses & Physiotherapists. The recipient’s body has well accepted the heart and all the medical parameters are found to be well within normal limits.
The surgery was conducted between 11 pm to 5 am in the Cardiac surgical unit of the hospital by the team of cardiothoracic surgery team consisted of Dr. Richard Saldanha, Dr. Mohan Gan Dr. Kiran Kurkure, Dr. Ravi Ghatnatti, Dr. Praveen Tambrallimath, Dr. Darshan D S & Dr. Abhishek Prabhu & Paediatric Cardiac Intensivist Dr. Nidhi Goel Manvi. Cardiac Anaesthesia team members were Dr.Anand Vagarali, Dr. Sharanagouda Patil, Dr. Abhijeet Shitole, Dr. Jabbar Momin, Dr Chetana, Dr. Pruthvi & Dr. Swetha. Perfusion team was lead by Anand Ghorpade, Kiran, Avinash, Sunil, Niyaz & Maria. Transplant Coordinator Vinayak Puranik, Pramod Sulikeri & Pramod Bukyalkar were part of the team members.
Today is the 25th day after his heart transplant and the recipient is walking around and in good health, well on the way to recovery with the donor heart functioning normally with no evidence of infection or rejection.
Recipient is lucky: Hours before the proposed transplantation the recipient suffered cardiac arrest and was immediately resuscitated and put on life support system. Dr. Ravi Ghatnatti & Dr. Abhijeet Shitole along with the ICU support staff swung into action intubated the recipient and saved his life.
Dr. Prabhakar Kore, Chairman of KLE Society & Dr. M V Jali, Medical Director of the Hospital has praised the donor’s family for donating organ for good human cause and the young man got a new lease of life due to self-less organ donation. Dr. Kore further stressed that the donor’s family is a role model to society and asked the community to come forward and donate organs and save the life of needy. He congratulated the team of Surgeons, Anaesthetists, Cardiologists, intensivists and all the members of the team for a successful transplant. Jubilant Dr. Richard humbly admitted that it is a gigantic team effort where each member role was well defined. He also said the KLES Heart Centre, medical infrastructure can match best of the hospitals around the globe. Dr. Richard said over 50,000 people in the country need Heart Transplant and only over 350-400 heart transplants are performed. The emotional relatives of the recipient have tears in their eyes and have thanked the family for organ donation also the Hospital staff for their absolute professional work. This is the 2nd transplant in three years’ time. First heart transplant was done on 20th Feb, 2018. The first recipient three years after the transplant is well and is working for an NGO in Bengaluru.
The surgery was performed under the ambitious program of the Arogya Karnataka-Ayushman Bharath Scheme the entire amount is borne by the scheme. Dr. M V Jali expressed his thanks for the donor’s family, officials of Arogya Karnataka-Ayushman Bharath scheme & Govt. of Karnataka for supporting for heart transplant to BPL patients.