Spanish Baby Receives the World’s First Intestine Transplant

    “Little Ema” has already left the hospital and is in perfect health at home with her parents

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    A 13-month-old baby received the world’s first intestinal transplant from a donor in cardiac asystole at Madrid, the Spanish health authorities indicated. The Hospital of La Paz “achieved the first intestine transplant in the world after a donation in asystole”, a state of cardiovascular insufficiency. This was announced by the health authority of the Madrid region in a statement published on Tuesday. Little Ema “has already left the hospital and is in perfect health at home with her parents”, Ana and Daniel, specified the authority of the Spanish capital region.

    Non-heart beating organ donation is performed in patients at the end of life

    This technique allows that, “after certification of death, organs can be preserved with perfusion of oxygenated blood through the Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) system,” explained the authority.

    But, until now, and despite the fact that 30% of the candidates die on the waiting list, the intestine from an asystolic donation had never been used. It is considered that it would not be valid given the special characteristics of this body”, affirmed the authority.

    Several teams at this Madrid hospital have needed three years of research and testing to demonstrate the viability of such an operation before performing it. Spain was still the world champion of transplants in 2021, with 5% of organ donations in the world. This while it only represents 0.6% of the world population, according to the World Observatory on Donations and Transplantation.

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