herald

Sunday 24 September 2017

Transplant patient survives heart-stopping blunder

Two medics are breathing a sigh of relief after a heart they dropped while transporting it to hospital was successfully transplanted.

The pair were ridiculed following their mishap, caught on camera by journalists following the heart's journey from donor to recipient.

The heart was on its way to a hospital in Mexico City -- travelling by ambulance, private jet and then a helicopter to reach 28-year-old Erika Hernandez, who was in urgent need of a transplant.

Video footage of the final leg of the journey shows the two men collecting a cooler containing the heart from a helicopter and running towards the hospital.

In their haste, the men drop the cooler -- and watch in horror as the heart rolls on to the concrete, together with a saline bag and some ice. They then sheepishly stuff the bag back into the container and continue with their sprint towards La Raza hospital.

Luckily, the operation was a success, and Ms Hernandez has been discharged from hospital.

Doctors had already announced that the transplant operation had gone ahead, but had wanted to wait to confirm it had been successful. The doctor overseeing the transplant, Dr Jaime Saldivar, said he was leaving it up to Ms Hernandez's family to decide when to tell her of her new organ's precarious journey.

He said of the incident: "It was a trip on one of the potholes on the road. Its arrival was a bit scary but fortunately it all went well."

hnews@herald.ie

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