A First in Karnataka, Joint Heart, Lungs Transplant Performed

In a first for Karnataka, a 68-year-old man underwent both heart and lungs transplant from a single recipient at a city hospital. Kasim Shariff, a retired Central government official from the city, became the first patient to have successfully undergone both the transplants at the same time on Tuesday. Shariff was first diagnosed with age-related lung disease in 2016 at a city hospital and was on a routine treatment. He was further diagnosed with End Stage Lung Disease, for which lung transplant was the only solution. After a complete body check-up by Narayana Health doctors, he was also diagnosed with severe Coronary Artery Disease. As his health condition was not suitable for a bypass surgery, he was registered at the state nodal agency Jeevasarthakathe (state body working on cadaver organ donation) in November 2018 for the heart and lungs.

The donor was a 24-year old man from the city, who met with a road accident and was declared ‘brain dead’. The standard window period for the donor organs is four hours. A Green Corridor was created and with the help of Bengaluru traffic police, the organs were transported within 40 minutes, to Narayana Health City, 62 km away. The heart and lungs retrieval and transplant were performed by a team of doctors led by Dr. Julius Punnen, Senior Consultant Cardiothoracic and Transplant Surgeon at Narayana Health City.

Dr Punnen said, “Heart and lungs function in tandem to supply and deliver oxygen to the rest of the body, which makes this transplant more complicated than a single organ transplant. For this transplant, organs were retrieved as a bloc and transplanted to the recipient’s body. Such requirements and conditions are rare in our country. The surgery is successful and the patient is responding to the treatment positively.” The lung transplant is complicated, risky and chances of infections are higher. In this case, bloc transplant was being done which made the surgery even more complex, said Dr Basha Khan, Senior Consultant Pulmonology/Intensive Care and Medical Director-Lung Transplant. Sharing her gratitude, the patient’s wife said, “We are lucky that within three months of registration at Jeevasaarthakathe, we found a matching donor. The team of doctors and administrative staff at Narayana Health City were extremely helpful and supportive to my husband and my family.” – Deccan Chronicle

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