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3 infants from other states undergo liver transplantation in city
Three newborns from different cities across the country underwent liver transplantation at a private hospital in the city recently. While COVID-19 continues to be a challenge, it also presented hurdles in getting organ transplantation done throughout the country.
Infants affected by biliary atresia need liver transplantation to prevent organ failure. Biliary atresia is a condition which affects 1 in 10,000 children, where the ducts that drain bile from the liver to the intestine is not completely formed.
Though travel restrictions and logistic difficulties continue during the lockdown, the parents of three infants below one year, weighed between 3.5 to 5.5 kgs from Nellore, Bangalore and Delhi had to travel to Dr Rela Institute and Medical Centre, Chennai, to ensure that medical emergencies can be attended as many other healthcare facilities failed to continue transplant services.
Dr Naresh Shanmugam, Children Liver specialist at Dr Rela Institute and Medical Centre, said, “All these three infants were diagnosed with biliary atresia with progressive jaundice and liver failure, these children’s condition started to deteriorate, and parents did not have an option to wait.”
Doctors said that there was a greater need to implement strict infection control policies on the staff and parents to make sure both the children and donors remain safe.
Dr Mohamed Rela, Chairman and Managing director of Dr Rela Institute and Medical Centre, said that it is a challenging task to do liver transplant in newborns with biliary atresia as they would have associated abnormal blood vessels which requires reconstruction. For the reconstruction of this tiny blood vessel, we use a venous graft from cadavers.
He added that cadaveric organ donation was practically nil due to COVID-19 and so we had to improvise and perform the surgery without venous graft. All the babies underwent surgery on consecutive days and they have recovered from jaundice and are heading towards discharge. Being from other states, the parents were required to produce a lot of documents for a committee to clear donation.