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Successful organ donation from a newborn baby in the UK

The successful organ donation from a newborn baby has been widely reported in the media. The donation, from a baby born at term after an emergency caesarean section in the neonatal unit of Hammersmith Hospital, London, happened last summer. The baby´s kidneys were transplanted into a patient with renal failure and liver cells (hepatocytes) were transfused into another recipient.

Sadly the baby´s brain had been starved of oxygen for a period during the pregnancy and her brave parents made the heartbreaking decision to donate her organs.

NHS Blood and Transplant´s organ donation team, the hospital nursing staff, and the hospital´s psychologist, all supported the family in their decision to donate their daughter´s kidneys and liver cells to be used for the benefit of other sick patients.

Newborns that die in neonatal units could potentially be organ donors, and therefore save the lives of other sick patients, but current guidelines make it very difficult to diagnose brain stem death in babies under two months old. New guidelines from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health are expected shortly.





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