Medics carry out record-breaking five transplants in 36 hours

the asian age

Transplantation deirector had to draft in extra doctors, nurses for support on their days off as more organs became unexpectedly available.

The hospital has carried out 88 transplants so far this financial year and expects to do 95. It performed the UK’s first successful heart transplant in 1979.

Surgeons from Royal Papworth carried out a record-breaking five transplants in just 36 hours.

Staff at the Royal Papworth worked non-stop to transplant two hearts, two pairs of lungs, and one single lung to five patients.

They had no idea they would be performing so many life-saving operations when they started the first procedure on Sunday afternoon.

In fact, transplantation deirector Pedro Catarino had to draft in extra doctors and nurses to support him on their days off as more organs became unexpectedly available.

Speaking about the incident, the surgeon said that they always believe that organs are like buses, one can wait ages for one and then several come along at once.

“But we have never seen this many in such a short period of time,” he said, adding, “It was purely down to chance that the hearts and lungs – from four unrelated donors – became available when they did.”

He further added, “It was hard work but transplants are slick, high-octane operations, and we work like a Formula 1 pit crew. We all know our roles and get everything done as efficiently as possible.”

In fact Catarino added that they kept themselves going on jelly babies and coffee so that their energy levels and focus remains high throughout. More than 40 staff, including five surgeons, worked until the early hours of Tuesday morning – with three operating theatres being used by the team at one stage.

The hospital has carried out 88 transplants so far this financial year and expects to do 95. It performed the UK’s first successful heart transplant in 1979.

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