NHS in ‘world first’ transplants using previously stopped hearts in children.
In a reported “world first” operation NHS doctors have successfully been able to transplant a heart into a child that had previously stopped. Normally heart transplants come from patients who are considered brain-dead, but where the heart is still beating and the patient would not be able to survive without artificial means.
This means that the number of organs available for donation is severely limited and many people spend years on transplant lists. The wait for children can be longer than adults too.
In a world first Cambridgeshire’s Royal Papworth Hospital have been able to successfully transplant hearts that had previously stopped beating. With a new machine the doctors were able to restart a heart and then transplant it to save a life.
According to The Sunday Times so far six children between the ages of 12 and 16 have taken part in these ground breaking operations.
Anna Hadley aged 16 was the first child to take part she explained that, ‘I just feel normal again. There’s nothing I cannot do now.’
Dr John Forsythe, medical director for organ donation and transplantation at NHS Blood and Transplant, spoke about the new technique and explained that, ‘this new technique will save lives both here and around the world.
‘It means people can donate their hearts where it wouldn’t have been possible in the past, giving life to patients on the waiting list.’
The ground breaking new technology uses a heart-in-a-box machine named the Organ Care System that previously had only been used on adults.
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