Millennium Post

With harvested heart, teenager gets new lease of life at AIIMS

A 17-year-old boy, who was suffering from end-stage heart failure and was put on life support, got a fresh lease of life after he received a heart from a 'brain dead' donor in Jaipur.

The patient, Ankur Rai, who is an IIT aspirant from Uttar Pradesh, was placed on extracorporeal membrane oxygenator (ECMO), which takes over the function of heart and lungs, while the doctors at AIIMS were "prepared for the worst".

"Ankur was suffering from end-stage heart failure and needed an urgent heart transplant. At the time of admission, his heart's pumping capacity had come down to just 10 per cent," Dr Sandip Sath, Professor in the department of cardiology said.

"His parents opted for a transplant and we were waiting for a heart. Ankur's blood group was AB+ (universal recipient) which means he could accept the heart of a person belonging to any blood group," he added.

Meanwhile, Ankur's condition kept deteriorating and one day his blood pressure dropped drastically and he suffered a respiratory and cardiac arrest.
"We revived him and he was put on ECMO. We began waiting for a miracle to take place and were ready for the worst," Dr Seth said.

On the seventh day, the doctors received a called from PGI Chandigarh, but it could not materialise because of the "odd timing" of heart harvesting.

"Finally, last week, we received a call from Jaipur. A team of doctors flew there at night and returned in the morning with the heart.

Delhi Police created a green corridor from the airport till AIIMS. A team of doctors led by AIIMS Director Dr Balram Airan performed the transplant," Seth said.
Now, Ankur is recovering on expected lines and is out of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

"We are grateful to the doctors at AIIMS here. They managed a (harvested) heart in just seven days. Today he is alive because of them," the father of the patient said.
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