Spanish baby becomes world’s first recipient of successful intestine transplant | The Financial Express

Spanish baby becomes world’s first recipient of successful intestine transplant

Interestingly, as it’s difficult to preserve an intestine from asystole donation due to the digestive organ’s characteristics, the transplant procedure for the baby is one of a kind.

Spanish baby becomes world’s first recipient of successful intestine transplant
The da Vinci Xi system converts the hand movements of the surgeons at the console in real-time to precisely bend and rotate tiny wristed instruments, enabling the surgeons to operate through a few small incisions. (File)

A year-old Spanish girl has become the world’s first recipient of a successful intestine transplant. According to Madrid’s La Paz hospital, the baby received that intestine from a donor who died of heart failure.

“The child has now been discharged and is in perfect condition at home with her parents,” it said in a statement on Tuesday.

Spain is a global leader in organ transplants, with over 102 of them per million inhabitants performed last year. According to the Spanish Health Ministry data, this rate is only surpassed by the United States.

According to a report by news agency Reuters, the baby was diagnosed with intestinal failure when she was just one month old because her intestine was too short. Consequently, her health rapidly deteriorated until receiving the multi-visceral transplant.

Aside from the intestine, Emma also received a new liver, stomach, spleen, and pancreas.

“The good news is that life goes on, that Emma is very brave and proving every day that she wants to keep on living,” her mother told reporters before thanking the donor’s family and the doctors as quoted by Reuters. The baby is now 17 months old.

As per protocols, asystole donations proceed from a dead person after doctors confirm the absence of a heartbeat and breathing functions. Then, the donor’s organs are artificially preserved through a system known as Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO).

Interestingly, as it’s difficult to preserve an intestine from asystole donation due to the digestive organ’s characteristics, the transplant procedure of the baby is one of a kind. Most transplanted organs stem from donors who have suffered brain death but retain a heartbeat, as this keeps the organs intact.

However, since the development of modern asystole donations, the technique’s popularity has grown to make up about one-third of all donations in Spain, La Paz said as quoted by Reuters.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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First published on: 12-10-2022 at 14:27 IST