Successful Lung Transplant Gives New Hope to 16-Year-Old Patient in Kolkata

In a significant medical achievement, a 16-year-old boy from Barasat underwent a successful lung transplant at a private hospital in Kolkata on June 24. This marked the city's second lung transplant procedure to date.

The transplanted lungs were obtained from a deceased donor in Bhubaneshwar and transported to Kolkata, where the complex surgery lasted nearly seven hours. The recipient, Swapnil Biswas, a student in Class X, had mistakenly ingested a herbicide that severely damaged his lungs, leaving him unable to breathe. To sustain him during this critical period, Swapnil had to be supported by ECMO for 37 days. Specialists at Medica Superspecialty Hospital, where the transplant took place, emphasized that a lung transplant was the only viable long-term option for the child's survival. According to doctors, Swapnil's recovery has been promising, and he now requires only minimal oxygen support.

"Lung transplants are highly critical and risky due to the organ's susceptibility to infection and immunological impact, unlike a transplanted heart. While the transplant has been successful, Swapnil will require extensive monitoring due to the complexities involved," stated Dr. Sarkar, emphasizing the careful observation needed during recovery.

The tragic incident occurred on April 27 when he accidentally consumed the herbicide from a cold drink bottle during a power outage at his home. He was immediately rushed to the hospital and provided with oxygen support. However, the herbicide had caused complete destruction of his lungs. As Swapnil's respiratory distress worsened, ECMO support became necessary. A chest CT scan revealed extensive lung consolidation with fibrotic changes, indicating severe lung damage. With no signs of improvement after 37 days on ECMO support, the medical team decided to proceed with a lung transplant.

The intricate surgery was led by Dr. Kunal Sarkar, Senior Vice Chairman and Senior Consultant of the Department of Cardiac Surgery, along with Dr. Dipanjan Chatterjee, Director of the ECMO and Thoracic Organ Transplant Program. The dedicated team included Dr. Soumyajit Ghosh, Dr. Saptarshi Roy, Dr. M B Das, Dr. Tangyanika Koley, Dr. Hirak Majumdar, Dr. Writuparna Das, Dr. Saibal Tripathi, and Dr. Deblal Pandit.

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