PGIMER Accomplishes Another Milestone in Transplant Surgery

Conducts its First Ever Lung Transplant

CHANDIGARH, 11 July : Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research (PGIMER) Chandigarh accomplishes another major milestone in the complicated transplant surgery and becomes the first institute in this region to conduct the lung transplant by successfully performing its first lung transplant surgery today.

Commending his team for this leap forward in the transplant surgery, Prof. Jagat Ram, Director, PGIMER Chandigarh stated, “Despite cadaver donor organ transplants picking up at a consistent pace in different pockets in the country, lung transplants are still very uncommon. This is partly because the surgery is complex and technically demanding and also because there are not too many usable lungs. Even the recipients too have to be selected very carefully for these procedures. So it is really heartening that today, PGIMER not only surpasses the 27 number of cadaver organ donations of last year but also has to its credit the ‘first in public sector hospitals’ in lung transplant surgery in India.”

A team of more than 20 doctors and supporting staff comprising of anesthetists Prof. G. D. Puri and Prof. Virendra K. Arya, cardiovascular & thoracic surgeons Prof. Rana Sandip Singh, Dr. Harkant Singh Baryah supervised by Prof. T. Shyam K. Singh, and specialists from Pulmonary Medicine Prof. Ashutosh Aggarwal, Dr. K.T. Prasad, Neurosurgeon Prof. Rajesh Chhabra along with residents, transplant coordinators, technical and nursing staff conducted this complex operation in over twelve hours. The lung transplant was done on a 35 year old female recipient from district Sangrur, Punjab who has been suffering from interstitial lung disease.

Detailing about the case, Prof. D. Behera, Head, Dept. of Pulmonary Medicine said, “The Director PGI took a keen interest and had called a meeting of all the stakeholders to fast track the process of lung transplant. For over one year, we have been closely monitoring the recipient but today we could leverage the opportunity presented to us by the kind consent of the donor family. The entire team involved in the process has made it happen, however, Dr. Ashutosh Aggarwal and Dr. K.T. Prasad deserve a special mention for their proactive efforts. Along with, its first lung transplant, PGIMER is also financially supporting the recipient for the procedure.”

The accomplishment was made possible because of the generous gesture of the brave heart donor family of Bhola Singh, 22 year old youth from village Gholian Kalan of district Moga, Punjab who was declared brain dead yesterday late night by the Brain Death Certification Committee after duly following the protocols of THOA 2011. Earlier, the donor Bhola Singh was rushed to PGIMER in an extremely critical condition yesterday morning after he was referred here from a local hospital in Faridkot, where he was taken after sustaining grievous head injury in a road side accident on the night of 8th July.

The family showcased exemplary courage and consented for organ donation when the matter was discussed with them. Following their consent, the lungs, liver, kidneys and cornea were retrieved from the donor for transplantation on the matching recipients here in PGIMER.

Dr. Vipin Koushal, Nodal Officer, ROTTO, shared, “So far, the institute has been successfully conducting heart, kidney, pancreas, liver and cornea transplants. With today’s accomplishment, PGIMER has forayed into lung transplant which will, further, contribute to saving of more precious lives.

“Due to the incredible decision taken in their darkest hour, the donor family of Bhola Singh has given a new lease of life to four people with the transplantation of lungs, liver and kidneys and the retrieved corneas will restore the sight of other two patients post transplantation. This way, in all, six lives will be impacted with this generous gesture of the donor family,” added Dr. Koushal.

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