India's first Cross-Blood Heart Transplant performed in Chennai
Representational Image. Courtesy | Unsplash

India Achieves Medical Milestone: Chennai Doctors Successfully Performs Cross-Blood Heart Transplant On Infant

August 23, 2023

In a groundbreaking medical feat, a team of doctors from a private hospital in Chennai, achieved India's first-ever successful cross-blood heart transplant surgery on a one-and-a-half-year-old baby girl.

The hospital officials confirmed the momentous achievement to the media.

The medical team at MGM Healthcare, led by Dr KR Balakrishnan and Dr Suresh Rao KG, accomplished an ABO-incompatible pediatric heart transplant, marking a significant advancement in medical science.

Overcoming the barrier posed by differing blood groups, the doctors exhibited exceptional skill and precision in their approach.

The infant patient had endured multiple cardiac arrests before the transplant surgery.

The journey to this medical marvel began with transporting a critically ill one-and-a-half-year-old child from Bulgaria to Chennai.

Suffering from terminal heart failure attributed to dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), the young patient was flown to India hoping for a life-saving intervention.

During the flight over Karachi airspace, the child experienced a cardiac arrest, prompting a swift and successful resuscitation effort that lasted 40 minutes.

The infant suffered another cardiac arrest on arrival at MGM Healthcare, which required a 45-minute chest compression resuscitation procedure.

Urgently taken to the operating room, the child was linked to a veno-arterial (VA)-ECMO system to provide vital heart support. Throughout this critical period, the infant exhibited remarkable resilience.

After 48 hours, a miraculous turn of events saw the baby regain consciousness, defying the odds of multiple cardiac setbacks.

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Fate intervened as the medical team contemplated the prospect of implanting an artificial heart pump.

A donour's heart became available from a brain-dead 3-year-old with a different blood group at Wadia Children's Hospital in Mumbai.

The National Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (NOTTO) allocated the organ to the infant, considering the absence of a suitable Indian recipient and the dire urgency of the situation.

Despite the incompatibility of the donor heart's blood group and its notable dysfunction, the medical team at MGM Healthcare decided to proceed with the transplant due to the critical condition of the young patient.

The subsequent days post-surgery witnessed the child requiring ECMO support for the newly transplanted heart to regain full functionality.

Immunosuppressive measures were also meticulously administered to manage the challenges posed by the ABO-incompatible organ.

Hospital authorities were overjoyed to announce that the infant had made a remarkable recovery and was progressing exceptionally well.

This momentous achievement highlights the medical team's remarkable skills at MGM Healthcare.

The successful cross-blood heart transplant surgery underscores India's growing prowess in cutting-edge medical procedures.

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