Covid-19: Organ Transplant During Lockdown Saves Life at Bengaluru

Karnataka Govt saved lives of two international patients in need of organ transplants at Manipal Hospital

Bengaluru:  Two international citizens, who were in urgent need of organ transplant during the ongoing pandemic were saved due to the efforts of Karnataka government and Manipal Hospitals. A 54-year old patient from Bangladesh had come to India before the lockdown for kidney transplant. Due to sudden lockdown, and an imposed ban on conducting non-critical surgeries during lockdown, his treatment was delayed. His deteriorating health indicated an exigent need for a kidney transplant. The doctors immediately started all the prerequisites tests to be performed on both patient and his wife (the donor) for the organ transplant to take place. However, the nationwide lockdown forced them to wait for a go-ahead from authorities.

Dr. Sankaran Sundar, Consultant Nephrology, Transplant Physician, Head-International Transplant services, Manipal Hospitals said, “To perform surgeries on International patients, certain government clearances are required. Though we, at Manipal Hospitals, had quickly performed the necessary tests, evaluations, and procedures required for the organ transplant and were ready to perform it, we also had to decide how to solve the complications posed by the lockdown, as the surgery could not be performed without getting the required government clearance. Some quick change of plan and action was needed to save patient’s life.”


“The patient’s reports showed both his native kidneys were shrunken indicating chronic kidney disease and kidney failure. In such complex procedures, where a foreign national is being treated, Government co-operation is of utmost importance. Fortunately, for the patient, the Karnataka Government has been supportive even during these tough times of the Covid-19 pandemic. When the lockdown was relaxed, they quickly performed the necessary process of reviewing the documents, and we were given the go-ahead within 2-3 days to perform the surgery,” added Dr. Saurabh Vashishtha, Consultant – Urology, Robotic Surgery and Renal Transplantation who treated the patient with Dr. Sankaran Sundar.

Elaborating further on the case Dr. Vashishtha said, “This was a complicated procedure that required comprehensive and super specialty care. We are thankful to the Karnataka Government for their proactive actions and quick clearances that helped us save the patient’s life at the right time. The surgery was successful, and both the patient and the donor are stable.”

In another case 58-year old citizen of Maldives was diagnosed with Hepatitis B and liver cirrhosis at the hospital. He was accompanied by his two sons and was undergoing health check-ups before the lockdown. He needed a liver transplant, as his condition was critical. To initiate the treatment at the earliest, his one son traveled to the Maldives for getting the necessary documents and clearances from the Maldives Authorities, whereas the other son (donor) stayed with his father here in Bangalore. Unfortunately, the lockdown happened around the same time and his son was not able to procure the documents.

“After doing the necessary investigations, we realized that the transplant was the only viable option to save his life. However, his son had traveled to the Maldives but the lockdown delayed the process of obtaining the necessary permissions from the Maldives Authorities. The patient’s condition was deteriorating hence we decided to reach out to the Maldives Embassy in India and the Karnataka Government for support. It took almost a month, but we finally got the go-ahead from the Karnataka Government based on the scanned documents and communications from Maldives authorities and we went ahead with the transplant. We performed the transplant successfully on time and could save his life as well,” said Dr Ravichand C Siddachari, Consultant – Hepatobiliary Surgery, Liver Transplantation Surgery, Manipal Hospitals Old Airport Road.

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