20 January 2015
The first successful organ donation from a newborn has been carried out in the UK, and involved the kidneys and liver cells.
Published in the Fetal & Neonatal Edition of Archives of Disease in Childhood, the kidneys were transplanted into a patient suffering from renal failure, while the hepatocytes were transfused into another recipient.
The donor was a girl born at term after an emergency caesarean section in the neonatal unit of Hammersmith Hospital, London. She was very sick as her brain had been deprived of oxygen for a period during the pregnancy.
Treatment was ineffective and she made no spontaneous movement or responded to any stimuli.
The parents gave their consent for organ donation, and six days after she was born - after death had been confirmed - these tissues were retrieved with the help of an experienced surgeon from the National Organ Retrieval Service.
The researchers hope that this will help kickstart a new way of thinking about neonatal organ donation.
Posted by Phillip Briggs
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