Mumbai: KEM starts training its doctors to perform heart transplant surgery

Mumbai: In a major boost to the affordable transplants in India, the Mumbai’s civic-run King Edward Memorial (KEM) hospital will soon be performing the heart transplant procedure in their campus for which the state government has given a green signal. In the year 1968, Dr PK Sen had performed India’s first heart transplant procedure at KEM Hospital.

Dr Avinash Supe, Dean of KEM hospital said in order to start the heart transplant once again in the hospital, they had written a letter to the state government. “After receiving a permission from the government soon we will set up a special heart transplant unit in the hospital were they can conduct transplants,” added Supe. He added that heart transplant is a very complicated procedure, for which they will train their doctors. “We have started training the doctors for which they will be sent to United Kingdom (UK). Once the doctors are trained, within a one-and-half year, we will start the heart transplant procedures,” said Supe.

Dr Balaji Ironi, an Assistant professor, heart surgery department, said, “The waiting list of the organ transplant patients is too high. Compared to this, the availability of organs is less in number. In private hospital, people have to spend around 25 to 30 lakh rupees for a heart transplant. That is why we are starting the process here in KEM.”

According to the doctors, every year thousands of patients seek treatment related to heart diseases. Out of which, around 1,500 patients are admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). A senior doctor from Cardiology department at KEM Hospital said, “One to two per cent of the over 20,000 cardiac patients treated annually by the hospital have refractory heart failure and may benefit from a transplant.”

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