June 20, 2021

Spain performs the first cardiac transplant in arrest to a baby incompatible with the donor

Little Naiara is already recovering from the extraordinary operation.

Little Naiara is already recovering from the extraordinary operation.

The Madrid hospital Gregorio Marañón has successfully carried out the The world’s first transplant of a heart stopping child, which was received by a two-month-old baby with blood incompatibility with his donor.

The young age of the baby has made the operation viable Despite not being compatible with the issuer’s blood group, in an operation from which the little girl, named Naiara, is already recovering in the ward after leaving the ICU.

It is also a “unique in the world” case because the donor and recipient were in different centers and the transplant was performed after a prolonged period of cold ischemia. during the transfer, which had to be carried out by air, according to the Community of Madrid in a statement issued this Monday.

The Gregorio Marañón General University Hospital began in 2018 a program, first in Spain, that allows it to perform heart transplants in children with incompatible blood groupsIn addition, this is the first case in the country in which the heart graft from a donor in asystole is performed on such a small baby.

In the procedure used, the heart of the deceased donor was recovered before its extraction through an extracorporeal circulation system, which allows the organs susceptible to transplantation to be kept oxygenated and to assess cardiac function, explains the Community.

These extraordinary transplants, among people with incompatible blood groups and with a stopping heart, it was previously “unfeasible”, but now it helps to “significantly increase” the chances of “recovering a heart for the youngest children”, babies as young as a few months, for those with “few donations”.

This is explained by the head of Children’s Cardiac Surgery at Gregorio Marañón, Juan Miguel Gil Jaurena, who adds that the complexity lies in “recovering the heartbeat, which has stopped”, and clarifies that, after recovery, the steps to follow are the same as in a traditional extraction.

Naiara’s situation prior to the operation was very complex, because the heart problems that were detected in her pregnancy forced her to advance the delivery and then wait for the rest of the organs to “mature enough” to consider the possibility of that the girl entered the transplant list.

Now his case “gives greater hope” to families with children with very serious illnesses, highlighted from the Community of Madrid.

For her part, the general director of the National Transplant Organization, Beatriz Domínguez-Gil, highlights the role of the donor’s family, who, in the worst moments of their lives, “did not hesitate to agree to the donation”, at the same time, the cooperation between the teams of the two centers involved stands out.


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