NEW DELHI -- A 52-year-old man's life was saved in Delhi thanks to a quick team of transplant doctors and Delhi traffic police officials who worked together on Wednesday to get him a liver transplant in record time.
A "green corridor" was created Wednesday afternoon to transport a liver meant for a transplant from the Delhi airport to a private hospital in Vasant Kunj. The area is usually heavily congested with traffic due to multiple traffic lights and a busy market along the route. The liver, retrieved from Lucknow, was flown to Delhi on Wednesday morning.
A Delhi police officer said that cops were informed around 10 am on Wednesday that a liver had been harvested from a 28-year-old man declared brain dead in Lucknow's KGMC (King George Medical College) hospital. It was being flown into the capital that afternoon and needed to be transported to south Delhi's Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences immediately so that the transplant operation could take place without the loss of valuable time.
"We need to plan in advance for this kind of operation, and immediately pulled 50 police officers from two traffic circles and our control room to coordinate with the transport coordinator of the hospital to decide the logistics," said Dr. Muktesh Chander, special commissioner of police (traffic), to HuffPost India.
On an average, it takes at least 30-40 minutes to make the 10.3 kilometre journey from the T3 terminal to Vasant Kunj — about 21 minutes without traffic. Thanks to the green corridor, the ambulance carrying the liver reached the hospital in a record 11 minutes.
"We could have used a longer route which had lesser traffic but that would have taken longer," explained Chander. "We decided to go with a shorter route through a market but that is usually heavily congested."
Traffic police used marshals and made minor changes to traffic movement in arterial roads, and this did not cause any traffic snarls elsewhere, officials said. The convoy travelled via the Mehrauli-Mahipalpur road, crossing Ryan International School and Masoodpur, to reach Vasant Kuni.
While the traffic inspector (head of a traffic circle) rode in a motorbike as pilot for the ambulance, senior officers including Chander monitored the real-time progress of the team on wireless sets. Cops were posted in every intersection along the route to ensure the ambulance did not have to stop at any point. "It was like a VVIP route in Delhi," said Chander.
All traffic lights along the way were turned green for the ambulance, and cross-traffic along the route stopped as the ambulance passed through. Any vehicles along the way travelling in front of the ambulance were asked to move to the left-most lane using a public address system.
Last evening, Dr. Sarin, in-charge of the transplant at the hospital said that the patient was doing well after the surgery, said Chander. "We are happy to contribute in the noble cause of saving a life," he said.