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First cardiac transplant in arrest to a baby incompatible with the donor

The Gregorio Marañón General University Hospital in Madrid has successfully carried out the first transplant the world of an infantile heart in stop, that was received by a baby of two months and with blood incompatibility with your 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 of which the little girl, called Naiara, is already recovering in the plant after leaving the ICU.

The deceased donor’s heart was recovered prior to its extraction through an extracorporeal circulation system, which allows the organs to be oxygenated and to assess cardiac function

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

The Madrid hospital began in 2018 a program first in Spain that allows you to perform heart transplants in children with incompatible blood group, to which it is added that this is the first case in the country in which the donor heart graft in asystole (complete absence of electrical activity in the myocardium) is performed on such a small baby.

In the procedure used, the deceased donor’s heart was recovered prior to removal through a cardiopulmonary bypass system, which allows to keep the organs susceptible to transplantation oxygenated and to assess cardiac function, explained the regional government.

Extraordinary transplants

These transplants between people with incompatible blood group and with a heart in stop, were previously “unviable”, but now it helps to “significantly increase” the chances of “recovering a heart for the youngest children”, babies of just a few months, for which there are “few donations”.

This transplant “gives greater hope” to families of children with very serious illnesses, highlighted from the Community of Madrid

This is explained by the head of Children’s Cardiac Surgery of 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 the gestation they forced to advance the Birth and then wait for the rest of the organs to “mature enough” to consider the possibility of the girl entering the transplant list.

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

The general director of the National Transplant Organization (ONT), 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”, while highlighting the cooperation between the teams of the two centers involved.

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