Liver, kidney airlifted in fastest plane from Pune to Delhi

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A multi-organ retrieval was performed by a team of surgeons at Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC) / Command Hospital (Southern Command), Pune and the organs transported to Army Hospital research & referral (R&R), Delhi and Poona Hospital on 26 Jul 2015. It has benefitted five individuals.

According to Lt Gen A K Nagpal, Director & Commandant, AFMC, Signalman Ganesh Sarvade took the brave and noble decision of donating the organs of his mother, Lalita Sarvade (45) who suffered a severe head injury after a road traffic accident on 18 Jul 2015 and was declared brain dead on 26 Jul 2015 by an authorised panel of doctors.

Despite being a medico-legal case, Wanowrie Police Station showed exemplary initiative in facilitating the process of organ retrieval. The organs, once retrieved, were to be dispatched to Army Hospital (R&R), Delhi and the Indian Air Force (IAF) contributed, by positioning one of their fastest aircrafts at Lohegaon airfield. The traffic police led by DCP Sarang Awad and Assistant Police Inspector Anita Hiwarkar created a “green corridor” which enabled the ambulance to reach the airfield from Wanowrie in just eight minutes. The aircraft took off at 2320 hrs and landed in Delhi airport at 0040 hrs from where they were sent to Army Hospital RR, New Delhi. The Liver has been transplanted to an ex-serviceman and the recipient of one Kidney is son of a serving Sergeant of Indian Air Force at Army Hospital ( R & R) who were suffering from End stage Liver and Kidney disease respectively.

The autopsy on the body of Smt Lalita Sarvade was conducted at AFMC at 0430 hrs on 27 July 2015. The mortal remains were then transported home for the last rites.

The Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 2014 now permits the Armed Forces to function as a deemed State for organ donation purposes and the Zonal Transplant Coordination Committee (ZTCC) Pune / Directorate of Health Services (DHS) Maharashtra facilitated the process of transferring one liver and one kidney to Army Hospital (R&R), Delhi, thus saving the lives of soldiers and their dependents. One kidney has been shared with the local ZTCC and allocated to Poona Hospital. Both corneas have also been harvested and kept in the Eye Bank, awaiting transplantation.

This is the first multi organ retrieval at AFMC and Command Hospital (SC) and provides a fillip to the organ donation ventures in Pune. It is gratifying to note the close collaboration between hospitals, the police, the civil administration and the IAF expedited the harvest, transport and transplantation of the organs. This noble gesture on the part of the donor has benefitted five different individuals.

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