- Even as Navi Mumbai’s four-year-old Aaradhya Mule’s struggle to get a donor heart continues, Fortis Hospital registered another similar case.
- Nashik’s one-and-a-half-year-old Shlok Andhale is suffering from end-stage heart disease and needs a heart transplant.
- Like Aaradhya, Shlok, too, had viral infection which later developed into dilated cardiomyopathy, also known as end-stage heart disease.
Shlok’s current medical condition
“Two months ago, Shlok had viral infection and he was hospitalised for 15-20 days. Functioning of his heart started deteriorating. He was soon diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy,” said Dr Vijay Agarwal, Paediatric Heart Transplant Surgeon, Fortis Hospital.
Shlok is presently being medically managed at home.
“Only 15% of his heart is functional. His blood group is AB+ (universal acceptor). So any blood group donor will do. But, the biggest question here is weight of the donor, which has to be between 15-30kg,” said Agarwal.
‘Lost my daughter, don’t want to lose my son’
His father Sunil Andhale, a farmer, appealed people to spread awareness on paediatric organ donation.
“I lost my daughter to a heart ailment. I don’t want to lose my son. I pray that we will get a heart for him at the earliest,” said Andhale.
Aaradhya’s struggle still on
Meanwhile, Aaradhya’s struggle to find a suitable donor heart continues as she awaits a heart transplant. With only 10% heart functional, Aaradhya gets hospitalised for 48 hours fortnightly wherein she is given medication intravenously.
She celebrated her fourth birthday on Sunday (March 5).
Dilated cardiomyopathy is one of the leading reasons for heart transplantation in children. Mumbai has so far witnessed six paediatric heart transplants. The youngest paediatric heart transplant patient in Mumbai has been a 7 year old girl from Goregaon who was operated last year.
According to the registry of the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation, approximately 500-600 paediatric heart transplantation procedures are performed worldwide each year. In US, last year, 444 heart transplants were performed in patients up to 17 years of age.
India lacks awareness on paediatric organ donation
Doctors say, in India, there is lack of awareness on paediatric organ donation. “In India, many potential paediatric donors are not identified. We therefore need improved public and physician awareness on identifying and notifying brain dead patients. We also need skilled counsellors to communicate with parents of a brain dead child,” said Dr Bhupenda Avasthi, Founder & Managing Director, Surya Mother and Childcare.
He said unlike adult donor’s relative, lot of care has to be taken by the doctors and transplant coordinator.
“Identifying a brain dead paediatric patient, approaching his/ her parents in breaking the news of brain-dead and counselling them for organ donation needs to be done with care. It is challenging as one set of parents are still trying to cope with their child’s death and the other waiting to save their child,” said Avashti.
The first successful paediatric heart transplant was done in June 9, 1984 in a Colorado Hospital on a 4 year old boy