India’s First Successful Heart Transplant by Dr. Panangipalli Venugopal
A story of the first Successful Human Heart Transplant in India.
Dr. Panangipalli Venugopal is the first Indian cardiac surgeon to perform a successful human heart transplant in India in 1994. He performed this miracle on August 3, 1994, at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi.
Dr. Panangipalli Venugopal was born in Andhra Pradesh, on 6 July 1942. So on his birthday, we will see how and when this miracle is done in this world.
What is a Heart Transplant
A heart transplant is a surgical procedure in which the heart of a deceased organ donor is placed into the chest of a patient with end-stage heart disease. This operation can be performed in adults, children, or infants. Heart transplants are used to treat people who have end-stage heart failure (a condition in which the heart cannot pump blood effectively), severe coronary artery disease (where there are blockages of the arteries that supply blood to the heart), and certain congenital heart defects (birth defects).
The procedure is highly specialized and requires extensive training on both sides—surgeons who perform these operations need to be skilled in cardiac surgery as well as transplantation surgery, while potential recipients need to be carefully screened for suitability.
Worlds First Heart Transplant
The first successful human heart transplant was performed on December 3, 1967, by Dr. Christiaan Barnard in Cape Town, South Africa. At that time, however, the procedure was still experimental. The patient was a 54-year-old woman who had been suffering from endocarditis. The donor was her brother, who died in a car crash.
The first successful pediatric heart transplant was performed in 1984 by Dr. Bruce Reitz at Stanford University Medical Center; he implanted a left ventricular assist device (LVAD) into a child whose heart had been injured by rheumatic fever.
India’s First Successful Heart Transplant
On August 3, 1994, when Doctors get a donor -a woman in her mid-30s who is declared brain dead, whose relatives are willing to donate her heart – they have a recipient ready in AIIMS, New Delhi. “The donor’s relatives were aware of organ donation, so they were ready. the recipient was a, 45- year-old man Devi Ram,
Devi Ram lived until he died of an unrelated brain hemorrhage after 17 years.
A Beautiful Story
In the year 1995, the heart of a Hindu woman was transplanted and put in the chest of a Muslim woman and a Christian doctor was supposed to carry out this work.
33-year-old Hemalatha Soundararajan was crossing a road near Pallavaram. When a car coming from the front hits them. Hemalatha is brought to the hospital. Where doctors declare her brain dead. Hemalatha’s husband used to work in the railways. He agrees to give Hemlata’s organs to any needy. This matter is conveyed to Dr. Cherian. Hemalatha’s heart could stop working at any time, so Cherian contacts hospitals in Cochin, Trivandrum, and Hyderabad to find a suitable receiver. Eventually, he gets a call from General Hospital, Chennai.
Mamoon Biwi, 38, was a heart patient and needed a heart transplant at the earliest. But Maimoon Biwi, who sold handkerchiefs on the railway platform, did not have much money, nor did she have any access. She was admitted to the hospital only because she could get three meals a day.
Doctor Cherian took all the responsibility for his operation on himself. After this, at 9 o’clock in the evening, the doctor starts the Cherian operation. The night-time was kept because Cherian did not want the matter to come to the notice of the media. Hemalatha was a Brahmin, while Maimoon Biwi was a Muslim, there could have been an uproar over this too. That’s why Doctor Cherian carried out this operation in the night itself and his team took 5 hours in this process. The operation was completed at 2 pm.
This was the first Heart transplant surgery performed for the first time in India in a private hospital.