The state health department will soon issue a new protocol for heart transplant procedure. Two months ago it had appointed an expert committee to formulate the protocol for this complex procedure. It has been 10 years since five hospitals in Mumbai had been granted permission to conduct heart transplants. However, none of them has conducted even a single surgery so far.
After 21-year-old Hvovi Minocherhomji from Bandra underwent heart transplant in Chennai last Monday, the medical fraternity in the city and people in general have been wondering why such facilities are not available in a metropolis like Mumbai.
The panel working on the protocol is headed by Dr KN Bhosle, head, cardiac surgery dept, Sir JJ group of hospitals. It has doctors from civic and private hospitals. One of them, Dr Manoj Aggny, cardiac surgeon attached to Nanavati Hospital, has experience of heart transplant procedure while he worked in the US.
"Once the new protocol is in place, the department will circulate it among hospitals to create awareness among medical fraternity to encourage them to start heart transplant surgery in the state. It's a complex surgery and will take time to pick up. But we expect some hospital to soon do it," said Dr Kempi Patil, joint director, Health Services.
"Most of the work on the protocol has been completed. Next week we will submit the report to the government. To compile it we have had help from Dr Kempi Patil and Dr Gustad Davar, the president of Zonal Transplantation Coordination Committee (ZTCC), he added.
There are a few experts in Mumbai who have worked abroad and have good experience in heart transplant surgery. It can be done in some of the city hospitals. However, we will have to train paramedical staff who play a major role in the transplant procedure. There are four patients in the city who need to undergo heart transplant surgery, and they are in touch with us. – Dr Manoj Aggny, member, expert committee constituted to formulate heart transplant protocol.