A young girl who had been declared brain dead at Osaka University Hospital in Suita, Osaka Prefecture, harvested her organs. This is the third organ transplant case in Japan involving a child under the age of 6.
The procurement of organs for transplantation involves the removal of organs from the bodies of deceased persons. This removal is preceded by legal requirements, including the definition of death and consent.
The girl had a serious heart disease and had an auxiliary mechanical heart. She was scheduled to get a heart transplant in the U.S. Earlier this month, a blood clot in her heart travelled to the brain and caused a cerebral infarction.
"When we learned that she was brain dead, we decided right away to be an organ donor, as we have become keenly aware of the fact that there are few transplant cases in Japan due to a shortage of donors," the girl's parents said.
Her family agreed to provide her lungs, liver and kidneys, according to the network.
The lungs are expected to be given to a girl under 10 and the liver to a woman in her 50s, both at Okayama University Hospital, the network said. Both the kidneys will be transplanted to two women.
Under the revised organ transplant law that took effect in 2010, organs can be taken from anyone regardless of age with family consent, unless the individual in question explicitly refused.
But tougher brain-death criteria are applied to children under 6.
The first case, in June 2012, involved a boy who was declared brain dead at Toyama University Hospital. The second case, last November, involved a girl pronounced brain dead at Juntendo University Hospital in Tokyo.
Another such transplant happened in India, as a non-registered nursing home identified the patient as a potential donor and facilitated the donation.
The 66-year-old Chembur resident gave the gift of life to three individuals in his death. Since the hospital which he was admitted was not a registered transplant centre, the patient was shifted in the evening to Asian Heart Institute (AHI) in Bandra, a registered transplant centre.
Organ transplantation is often the only treatment for end state organ failure, such as liver and heart failure. Kidney transplants are also preferred for end stage renal diseases as it is comparatively cost effective and beneficial.
The city witnessed highest number of donations ever in 2014 as 41 individuals made 71 kidney and 36 liver donations. The corresponding number of donors in 2013 was 24, and 27 in 2012.
A state government official said as many as 33 centres are registered as Non-transplant Organ Retrieval Centres to indentify and facilitate donations.