Kochi: 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 in Thiruvananthapuram for a recipient in Kochi.
It took just one hour and seventeen minutes to transport the heart from the Thiruvananthapuram International Airport to Kochi Naval Airport.
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 in Thiruvananthapuram 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. 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.
The hospital sources later said the heart has successfully been transplanted on a patient from Chalakkudy after a six-hour surgery.