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The Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital (KDAH) announced a successful heart transplant on a woman, the first during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, officials said, here on Tuesday.

The 53-year-old woman, hailing from Nanded, had severe heart failure with irreversible heart damage, required an urgent transplant though she was on the list for eight months.

As her condition worsened, the onset of the Corona pandemic and the lockdown dimmed her chances of getting a new heart as there was a steep decline in organ donations and transplants.

However, on July 18 a donor heart became available and overcoming the Covid situation challenges, a KDAH team led by Dr Nandkishore Kapadia performed the transplant on the woman.

“The patient had earlier undergone an open heart valve replacement surgery in 2009. In 2012, her condition started to worsen and last year she was diagnosed with irreversible damage to her heart, which ultimately led to failure. She was bedridden for the past six months,” said Dr Kapadia, Director of the Heart & Lung Transplant Centre at KDAH.

She was on blood thinners due to the valve replacement. There was massive bleeding during the latest surgery making the entire procedure complex.

Besides, since such patients are immuno-compromised, given the current Corona situation, additional care was necessitated and all necessary tests were conducted within the requisite parameters that led to the successful transplant, he added.

KDAH CEO and Executive Director Santosh Shetty said the patient was recovering and the hospital was proud to have performed the city’s first mid-pandemic heart transplant successfully, following all infection control protocols.

Even the Mumbai Traffic Police and other authorities contributed to the operation by creating a ‘green corridor’ to ensure quick and safe transport of the harvested heart, and the humane gesture of the donor family whose selfless act helped save a critical patient’s life.

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