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.
AdvertisementMedicos 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.