At London Hammersmith hospital, a baby girl, who died six days after being born, has become Britain’s youngest organ donor.
The child has become part of the first successful organ donation from a new born to be carried out in Great Britain. The baby girl was born after an emergency caesarean section in the national unit of Hammersmith Hospital in London in 2013.
The baby was found to have been starved of oxygen during the pregnancy, leaving her unable to move or respond. She weighed nearly 7lbs.
After being given permission by the child’s parents, the child’s kidneys were transplanted into a patient with kidney failure, and liver cells were transfused into a second patient. Approximately 1000 people die each year on the waiting list to receive an organ donation.
‘This case has set a milestone in the care of new-borns in the UK’, said the team who performed the transplant.
Dr Guarav Atreja, of the neonatal unit at Hammersmith Hospital explained, ‘You can transplant a baby’s kidneys into children or adults. I don’t know exactly what size they will grow to, but it is enough for them to function.’
Experts hope this will also kick start a new way of thinking about neonatal organ donation. The family of the baby were praised by NHS Blood and Transplant, the organisation that organised the retrieval of her kidneys and liver cells.