The two patients are doing well

The two patients are doing well

Surgeons have transplanted organs from a new born baby, who passed away after six days of birth into two patients. The patients are both doing well according to those who attended to them last night.

This is a UK first. The new born baby girl suffered from brain damage in the womb and weighed only 3kg or 6.6 pounds.

The baby’s kidneys were removed, which were then put into a patient with renal failure and the liver cells were given to the second patient who had liver damage.

Doctors tried to save the baby after they realised that she had suffered from extensive brain damage by cooling her body for 72 hours. She was not able to breathe on her own according to Gaurav Atreja of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust at the Hammersmith Hospital in London.

“Because the brain never recovered even after being on the life-support machine for six days, it was very clear that she was not going to make it. She didn’t show any improvement whatsoever with brain function,” Dr Atreja said.

Her parents give their permission for the life support to be turned off and for the baby’s organs to be used by the National Organ Retrieval Service after her death had been confirmed.

“It was technically quite difficult to recover small organs from such a small baby but we managed to do it. The whole process made the grieving journey easier for the parents,” Dr Atreja said.

A letter was sent to the British Medical Journal last year, from doctors who said that neonatal organ donation should help reduce the national shortage of organs available for donation.

“A specialist nurse from the NHS blood and transplant team did a full assessment of the infant according to their guidelines to confirm the suitability of the organs for donation,” the doctors wrote.

“This case has set a milestone in the care of newborns in the UK. A significant proportion of babies who die in neonatal units are potential organ donors,” they said.

“We hope that neonatal units across the UK will actively start thinking about this noble cause, which makes the grieving family’s journey easier and has the potential to transform another life,” they added.

In 2014, 4,655 transplants were made from donations made by 2,466 living and deceased organ donors. This comprised of 206 heart transplants, 3,257 kidney transplants and 924 liver transplants.

In 2015, 10,000 people are waiting for an organ transplant and 1,000 people die every year due to not getting the organ transplant they require.

Source: The Independent


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