KATHMANDU, Oct 2: Kumud Dhital, an Australia-based surgeon of Nepali origin, has been nominated for the Pride of Australia medal for a breakthrough he made in the field of heart transplants, according to reports published in Australian media.
“St Vincent's surgeon Kumud Dhital was the first to make a dead heart beat again, transport it to hospital and successfully transplant it. Now he's experimenting with dousing the organ in funnel-web spider venom,” reported the Sunday Telegraph. “Surgeons used to rely solely on hearts from brain-dead donors that were still beating.”
Hearts don't last on ice in an Esky the same way a liver can. Now surgeons can restart hearts that have stopped beating more than half an hour earlier and keep them pumping for up to six hours before transplant, it said.
Associate Professor Dhital has been nominated for the Pride of Australia medal, for his lifesaving work on heart transplants.
“The novel part was transporting a circulatory death heart a distance and putting it into a recipient and the ¬recipient doing well afterward — that had never been done before,” the media quoted him as saying. Surgeons at St Vincent's have now performed 27 similar transplants, said the report.
“Dr Dhital's breakthrough has the potential to increase the number of hearts available for transplant in Australia by 50 per cent,” it said.