Chennai, January 21, 2020: MGM Healthcare performed a successful bilateral lung transplant on Shri Jagarnath Mahto, Honorable Education Minister of Jharkhand. The transplant for the honorable minister was necessitated due to the severe lung infection caused by COVID-19 and it was performed Dr. K. R. Balakrishnan, Chairman & Director of Cardiac Sciences and Director of the Heart and Lung Transplant Program at MGM Healthcare. He was ably assisted by his team of transplant specialists which included Dr. Suresh Rao, Dr. Srinath and Dr Apar Jindal,
The 54-year old minister, in addition to being infected by the corona virus was also suffering from hypertension, diabetes and coronary artery disease, which made it a particularly challenging case.
Fibrosis caused by the corona virus infection severely damaged his lungs and he had been treated with drugs such remdesvir and other steroids. Gradually his conditions worsened, and his oxygen saturation was particularly low.
The clinical team from MGM assessed him and in view of deteriorating clinical status, he was put on Veno venous ECMO on 19th October 2020 and airlifted to MGM Healthcare Chennai for advanced clinical care.
He was tracheostomized on 28th October 2020. And when his CT scan did not show any improvement in the lungs, he was enlisted under the lung transplant program. After 23 days on ECMO he underwent a Bilateral lung transplant on 10th November 2020.
Despite the challenges posed during these COVID-19 times, MGM Healthcare, a multi-specialty quaternary care hospital in the heart of the Chennai, performed the surgery and the minister has now recovered and is getting discharged from the hospital.
Speaking about the procedure Dr. K. R. Balakrishnan said “It was a challenging case as not many transplants have been done for COVID destroyed lungs. However, given the condition of the minister we made some quick decisions to ensure patient safety and expected patient outcome.”
“We weighed in all the options available before us, and decided to go ahead with the transplant. The patient responded well to the procedure and his lungs are now working well,” added Dr Balaksrishnan
After a successful lung transplant his ECMO was removed, with a gradual improvement in his oxygenation levels. Post the surgery, the transplanted lungs were functioning well. He was weaned off the mechanical ventilation on 8th December 2020. Finally, his tracheostomy was removed on 1st January 2021 and currently he is making good progress and his vital parameters are stable and monitored continuously.
According to Dr. Suresh Rao, Co-Director, Institute of Heart & Lung Transplant and Mechanical Circulatory Support said “The minister is stable condition, His ECMO has been removed after the lung transplantation. Those select patients suffering from COVID pneumonia where all medications and mechanical ventilators fail to show positive results, an early initiation of ECMO support may be a lifesaving modality.”
“Lung transplant may well be the answer to many of the COVID survivors whose lungs suffered severe fibrosis, thereby making them chronic respiratory patients. In such patients when all other clinical and mechanical interventions fail, Lung transplantation is an option,” added Dr. Apar Jindal, Clinical Director & Consultant, Lung Transplant, Interventional Pulmonology & Chest Medicine.
MGM Healthcare Director Dr. Prashanth Rajagopalan, underlined the hospital’s pedigree as one of the largest ECMO programs in the region with the best clinical talent and a proven track record for pioneering medical procedures.