Sunday, November 29, 2020

Taking harvested organs just in time: A delayed flight that saved four lives

New Delhi: The Air India Group is not exactly known for on time performance but on Saturday Alliance Air delayed a flight deliberately to fly harvested organs from Jaipur to Delhi that eventually led to saving four lives. A 49-year-old woman, who had donated her organs, passed away in Jaipur. The lives of four critically ill patients in Delhi depended on getting lungs, a liver and a kidney retrieved from the woman in time.

Official of various agencies like the Rajasthan chief minister’s office, State Organ and Tissue Transplant Organisation (SOTTO), airlines, Central Industrial Security Force and Jaipur Airport were coordinating to ensure that the harvested organs are on the first flight to Delhi which happened to be AI regional subsidiary Alliance Air’s (9I 644) that was to depart at 8.15 pm.

Boarding for this flight had been completed and passengers were waiting for the ATR to take off. Once informed, Air India and Alliance Air management decided to delay departure of this flight. “When passengers onboard the aircraft came to know about the reason of flight delay, they patiently waited for the organs and medical to reach Jaipur airport. The organ harvesting surgery performed at a private hospital in Jaipur was a complicated one involving retrieval of lungs, kidney and liver and hence was time taking. In about 30 minutes, a team of doctors, paramedical staff and the two lungs, a liver and a kidney from the donor were onboard and then the aircraft took off at 9.28 pm,” said an Alliance Air official.

29/11/20 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

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