6 day old baby girl in Britain become youngest organ donor : saves two lives
Nirapad News : A baby girl who died at six days old has become Britain’s youngest organ donor – saving two lives.
The tiny infant’s organs were the first in the country to be successfully transplanted from a newborn.
Her kidneys went to a patient fighting for life with renal failure while her liver cells helped another seriously ill case.
The unnamed girl’s parents have been praised for their courage in allowing the donation, and were said to be “happy that something positive came out of” their little daughter’s tragically early death.
Consultant neonatologist Dr Gaurav Atreja, one of the baby girl’s doctors, said: “It was incredibly difficult to approach the subject of organ donation with the baby’s family.
“We gave them time to think but they were only too keen and came back to me within a couple of hours. What they did was very brave and very courageous.”
He said he had seen the family since the successful transplant and said that they knew what a huge positive impact their selfless decision had made on the lives of the two patients.
The donor was born in an emergency caesarean section weighing 6lbs 10oz at Hammersmith Hospital in West London last year.
She was seriously ill and it emerged that her brain had been starved of oxygen during her mother’s pregnancy.
Her parents and doctors discussed organ donation when it became clear their child would not survive.
Dr Atreja added: “A very careful and realistic plan was presented to the parents. They also met with our on-site psychologist in view of the sensitive nature of this decision. They consented with extraordinary generosity.”
Revealing the case in a medical journal yesterday, researchers wrote: “This has set a milestone.”
Kidneys fully function at around 37 weeks in the womb so can technically be transplanted from that time. The donated kidneys can grow to 75% of adult size.
Britain’s previous youngest donor was five weeks old. Now it is hoped the latest case will lead to more donations from newborns who die in neonatal units.
New guidelines expected to increase of such donations are expected to be published soon by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.
The researchers added: “We hope neonatal units across the UK will actively start thinking about this noble cause.”