British doctors have turned a tragedy into a medical milestone by
transplanting the organs of a six-day-old baby girl.
The baby's liver cells were donated to two other patients after the baby's
heart stopped beating. According to the doctors, the girl was born with severe
brain damage having been starved of oxygen in the womb.
Medicos praised the "extraordinary generosity" of the girl's parents.
"The successful transplants had turned out to be a positive thing for the
family," said Gaurav Atreja, one of the doctors involved.
The surgery to remove a newborn's organs is extremely difficult as the
kidneys, at that stage, are only five cm long.
Figures from the government shows that at least 15 infants in the UK are
waiting for organs, and the size of the organ is critical. However, neonatal
organs can be transplanted to adults as well as other babies.
Transplants of this kind have been successfully
performed in other countries. However, restrictions in the UK regarding when a
baby can be declared brain-dead have impeded life-saving surgical procedures.