Why paediatric heart transplant needs more awareness in India?

In India, paediatric heart transplants are rare, whereas, the International Society for heart and lung transplant figures says that approximately 500 to 600 paediatric heart transplants take place globally and 12 per cent of those transplants are done upon children. In India, the scenario is worrisome, as paediatric heart transplants are peculiar and challenging in nature

Why paediatric heart transplant needs more awareness in India?

As time passes by, one of the most important lessons that should be taught to our children is a lesson regarding the topic organ donation. It was only yesterday that we celebrated the reception of a heart for Aaradhya, a three-and-half-year-old girl hailing from Navi Mumbai.

Dr Anvay Mulay, head of cardiac transplant team, Fortis Hospital, who performed the surgery on the little girl, said that, “We would not have been able to reach this far without the consent of the kin’s families, who have forever changed the lives of the recipients and their families. Aaradhya is doing fine now and she is stable.”

The donor of the heart was a 14-month-old boy from Surat, who just became the youngest donor ever in Western India to give a heart to the three-and-half-year-old girl named Aaradhya Mule from Navi Mumbai.

The donor was declared brain dead owing to a terrible fall that he had while playing. His parents, both in their late twenties, took the brave step of donating his kidneys and heart thereby, saving three lives.

“We salute the brave parents of this 14-month-old boy from Surat for consenting to donate their son’s heart. There has been a considerable rise in the number of cadaveric donations this year, we hope to keep progressing on that front to help more such patients who are dealing with end-stage organ failure,” said Dr S Narayani, Zonal Director, Fortis Hospital, Mulund.

While we talk about organ donations, the disparity between the ones in the waiting list and the donors is huge, specifically in case of children; My Medical Mantra tries to find why.

“In the entire world, only 12 per cent of heart transplants that take place are among children. This is so because paediatric heart transplants are peculiar and challenging in nature. This could also be because dilated cardiomyopathy is not very common among children,” said Dr Swati Garekar, a paediatric cardiologist at Fortis Hospital, Mulund.