UK’s first organ transplant from newborn successful
The successful organ transplant from a newborn baby girl is said to “set a milestone in the care of newborns in the UK”, according to an article published in the Archives of Diseases in Childhood.
The donor, a six-day-old baby girl, had suffered from oxygen deprivation in the womb which led to irreversible brain damage at birth.
Her parents have been described as expressing “extraordinary generosity” in donating their late baby girl’s kidneys and liver cells to save the lives of two unknown recipients.
The surgery was a complex one due to the small size of newborns’ organs; the kidneys measured approximately 5cm.
Nevertheless, the procedure was a success; post-surgery, it is unclear whether UK guidelines will expand to allow transplants of this nature to become a commonplace practice in British hospitals.
In the US, Germany and Australia newborn organ donations are not subjected to the same legislation which exists in the UK.
It is suggested that approximately 15 infants under the age of two are in need of organ transplants across the UK.
Dr Gaurav Atreya, who played a fundamental role in the transplant and co-authored the aforementioned article in the Archive of Diseases in Childhood, told the BBC: “This turned out to be a positive thing for the family. They could see something positive out of a negative experience.”
It is hoped from Dr Gaurav Atreya and Dr Sunit Godambe, a neonatal specialist and co-author of the pioneering article, that there will be more donations from newborn babies in the near future.
The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health is said to review this case and all information related to newborn organ transplants and will feedback in March.
Ninette Osei Wilson