December 18, 2015
Cannot find a compatible organ donor among humans ? There is an alternative now. Find one among an animal. Yes. A horse’s heart valve has been implanted in a human in Coimbatore and so technically it makes the horse a donor.
56-year-old K. Palanisamy, Sub-Inspector at Peelamedu Police Station, is the first in Coimbatore district to have undergone a horse heart valve implant. Dr. Prashanth Vaijayanath of Kovai Medical Center and Hospital operated upon him three months ago, at a cost of Rs.1.5 lakh.
The patient had been suffering from heart pressure for the past five years due to the stress of his job as a policeman, which eventually led to a heart attack in February this year. He was also suffering from Diabetes. He was under medication and treatment from then.
During one of his duty days at the court he experienced symptoms of a heart attack and was admitted at KMCH. Upon testing, Dr. Prashanth observed that his heart valve was as narrow as 19 mm which was why no medication was having any effect on him.
According to the doctor, the pericardium of a horse is known to be the strongest, which means the longevity of the valve can sustain up to 20 years. That is the reason for choosing the horse heart valve.
The heart valve is procured at US based multinational company, Metronic, which is listed in the top 10 Fortune 500 companies and it has its presence in almost 185 countries. These companies procure the pericardium of the horse, fabricate and export it countries including India.
“Horse valve mainly is gotten from Mongolia as the Mangolains consume horse meat and it is the only place that does not have any animal rights activists crying cruelty. It is taken from a dead horse and is legalized by Food and Drug administration of United States(FDA) and Drug control of India.”, Dr Prashanth pointed out.
Palanisamy was admitted at KMCH for 10 days for the implant procedure. The surgery took over two hours. The surgery was successful, though he has difficulty climbing stairs or while walking fast.
The medical trend of using animal organ is gradually picking up and it is replacing faulty organs of human beings. It is also helping in bridging the demand supply gap in availability of human organs for transplant.