From Rajasthan to Mumbai via Delhi, a dash for hand transplant | India News

From Rajasthan to Mumbai via Delhi, a dash for hand transplant | India News


MUMBAI: After a phone call on Thursday, a 22-year-old from Ajmer was rushed out of home around 11pm to travel over 400 km by road to Delhi in order to board a flight to Mumbai around 5.20am. The young man, who lost his hands and legs after getting electrocuted in his farm early last year, had strong motivation for the lastminute flight to Mumbai: to receive a pair of hands.
His hand transplant — the third in Mumbai— started at Global Hospital, Parel, around 8pm on Friday. Like the would-be recipient, the hands were flown into Mumbai after due procedure from Ahmedabad Civil Hospital. From the airport to the hospital, the hands took only 16 minutes to arrive because of a green corridor imposed by the police.
The donor, a 50-year-old who had undergone brain surgery, was declared brain dead late on Thursday, and a message about the availability of his hands, lungs and heart was flashed on a WhatsApp group maintained by the National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO) to all hospitals certified to carry out transplants.

A transplant network with NOTTO and its regional (ROTTO) and state avatars (SOTTO) has made interstate transplants easier. “Inter-state transplants have become organized in recent times. There is now a structure and deadlines for hospitals to respond to messages and every procedure is streamlined. Hospitals get alerts about the availability of donors in any part of the country in real time,” said Dr Akash Shukla of ROTTO.
For the 22-year-old, the overnight journey wasn’t a guarantee to get hands, but just the start of the process. A couple of months ago, he had received an alert to be ready for a transplant, but the hands were allocated to another hospital.
On Friday, he reached Global Hospital around 7.30am to first submit blood samples for an important test called crossmatching. A crossmatch is done between the to-be donor and to-be recipient’s blood to rule out any antibodies and ensure compatibility. At the same time he was travelling to Mumbai, an official from Global Hospital’s Ahmedabad clinic travelled with a sample of the tobe donor’s blood. The crossmatch testing started around 10am and the results were out around 2pm, signalling that the transplant could be done.
A team of doctors from Global also had to go to Ahmedabad Civil Hospital to retrieve the hands and travel back.
Before the city’s third transplant started on Friday, plastic surgeon Dr Nilesh Satbhai said the recipient got registered at Global Hospital in August. Global Hospital performed the city’s first hand transplant on August 28, 2020.





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