A flight was suddenly rerouted to make sure a donated heart arrived in Wuhan from Tianjin in time for a transplant surgery, Chutian Metro Daily reported recently.
With the unanimous consent of the passengers, the flight was diverted and the heart arrived in time and was successfully transplanted.
To make sure that the transplant was successful, the medical escort team from Wuhan Union Hospital had to deliver the heart within six hours. But their original flight on Jan 13 got delayed.
So they sought help from China Southern Airlines, which immediately requested Flight CZ6349 from Tianjin to Sanya to re-route.
"The heart would have been wasted if we had waited for the next flight," said Qiu Xuefeng, an associate professor of cardiology in the escort team.
After landing, the team delivered the heart within minutes of the time window. After 19 hours and 40 minutes since the heart was taken out, it resumed beating in the chest of the patient stricken by acute myocardial infarction.
"The operation was very successful. If the heart was delayed for one or two more hours, we would have missed the deadline," said Dong Nianguo, the director of cardiac surgery at the hospital.
The patient is now recovering in ICU.