Nineteen years old Tanvi Palande, an engineer tested COVID-19 just after her family and doctors at Apollo Hospital in Belapur in Navi Mumbai decided for a liver transplant surgery, following her deteriorating health condition. She was scared with the thought of surgery as recovering from COVID was itself a challenge. After 10 times Rt-PCR tests, she was finally declared free from COVID 19 infection.
Palande said, “With my deteriorating health condition, lockdown, and pandemic, it was a challenging situation for my family. It was the first time that I was really scared. The doctors gave me a lot of support and counseled us which gave us the confidence to go ahead with the liver transplant.” She added that she thankful as her mother donated a part of her liver, to save her.
Like Palande, there are three other persons including a police constable with the Mumbai police who were tested positive for COVID 19 and were undergoing liver transplant surgery.
Dr Aabha Nagral, Consultant, Hepatology (Adult & Paediatrics), Apollo Hospitals Navi Mumbai said, “Liver transplantation on COVID-19 patients poses major challenges not only to the patient and her family, but the entire systems and medical teams in the hospital.” She added that treating patients with liver conditions following a recovery from COVID-19 comes with tremendous challenges, as the patients are more prone to infections.
However, despite the emergency situation, the hospital put efforts to continue with liver transplant activity, minimising the waiting list and mortality.
Talking about the same, Dr. Vikram Raut, Consultant, HPB and Liver Transplant Surgery, Apollo Hospitals Navi Mumbai, said, "It has been challenging to work on the four patients with liver conditions. The four cases we received came with many complications, including being COVID-19 positive.” He further added that by following the mandatory precautions of COVID-19 and post negative reports of COVID-19 tests, we performed liver transplantation for all the patients.
Santosh Marathe, Unit Head, and COO, Apollo Hospitals Navi Mumbai commented, “This year has been challenging with the rising cases of COVID-19 in Maharashtra and patients facing the related comorbidities out of chronic liver diseases have been observed nationwide. Following all the international safety control protocols, we continued with the transplant programme, as most the patients are with end-stage organ failure.” He added that in the last 14 months, they have successfully performed 29 liver transplants, 42 kidney transplants, and 2 heart transplants with excellent clinical outcomes ensuring the quality of life.