Next-gen heart transplant: Can drones save travel time and lives?

The Fortis hospital in Mulund in Mumbai is planning to collaborate with IIT-Bombay to employ drones to transport hearts in case of transplants in a bid to save travel time and lives. Addressing a gathering at Fortis, Mulund on Friday night, Dr Anvay Mulay, Head of Cardiac transplant team said the hospital was with the help of IIT, planning to make use of drones to transport hearts from one location to another. “This will reduce the time taken in the present traffic congestion in Mumbai. The weight of the heart is very less and the deadline for its transplant is very short and hence we have to compete with time,” he said.

Mulay said the entire project was in the planning stages and requisite permits from various agencies including police and airport authorities would be obtained soon. Once this is through then one can expect the time taken for transporting the heart to reduce considerably, he claimed adding a record 23 heart transplants were carried out by Fortis Mulund during the last one year. BJP MP and former actor Shatrughan Sinha was the chief guest at the function organised to mark the first heart transplant in the city one year back.

Dr Avinash Seth, Director of FORTIS, Raj Gore, COO-Region, West and South of Fortis Healthcare, and Dr S Narayani, Zonal Director Fortis Hospital, Mulund were present on the occasion. Also, 19 heart recipients including Anwar Khan (first recipient) and a 8-year-old girl Madhavi Vishwakarma, who had turned up at the event were felicitated for their “rebirth”. On the occasion, a “Wall of Tribute” naming 23 heart donors from across the country was inaugurated by Sinha.

Also an eight-bedded cardiac surgery and heart transplant Intensive Care Unit at the Mulund facility was thrown open for public. Pledging support to the cause, Sinha and his wife Poonam called upon citizens to come forward and educate fellowmen about the importance of organ donation. The actor couple said that they have already pledged their eyes and will soon do so for their organs. “It is the best thing to do for the health of our nation. If the health of our people is strong then the country remains strong. I salute those who make these transplants possible and that too in a time bound manner, especially the police who co-ordinate all the things,” the former Union minister said.