CHANDIGARH: If all goes well, PGI will soon become the first public hospital in the country to offer lung transplant facility. Private facilities where lung transplant is performed are located in Chennai and Mumbai.
Although the proposal was made in 2013, the facility is expected to start this year with the hospital enrolling patients for transplant.
PGI doctors have been trained in cadaveric lung transplant from Pittsburg and Canada. The first few transplant surgeries will be performed free of cost. These shall be funded by the Punjab CM's fund and PGI. Doctors said the transplant cost ranges between Rs 80 lakh and Rs 1 crore in a private hospital.

"In our centre, the cost will be up to Rs 8 lakh. We have bronchoscopy ready and everything is in place, except a lung preserver solution, which is imported," said Dr Ashutosh Aggarwal of the department of pulmonary medicine, PGI.
The institute considered performing the transplant on a two-year-old girl this June. But the patient was critical and could not be salvaged for the procedure. The surgery is only for patients suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and interstitial lung disease, a disorder that blocks airflow and makes it difficult to breathe.
"We need healthy lungs and only those patients who have COPD and interstitial lung disease but are not bedridden can be suitable recipients. The survival rate is 50% for the first five years," said Dr Ritesh Aggarwal of the department of pulmonary medicine.
There are 11 patients in the waiting list, out of whom four have been screened for transplant. "The lung should be retrieved within four to six hours of death. We have to match blood group and lung size of the recipient and donor. It is a complicated surgery and rate of rejection is higher than other organ transplants," said Dr Ritesh

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