A baby weighing 2.1 kg has become the world’s youngest child to undergo a successful liver transplant, doctors at a leading hospital have claimed.
A baby weighing 2.1 kg has become the world’s youngest child to undergo a successful liver transplant, doctors at a leading hospital have claimed. The smallest baby reported to have undergone a successful transplant in medical literature was a child weighing 2.45 kg, according to doctors.
According to doctors at Medanta Hospital, David, a Nigerian, was suffering from neonatal hemochromatosis (NH), a rare metabolic disorder, since birth which caused excessive iron deposition in his liver, causing it to fail. While his birth weight was three kg, the disease ravaged him, leading to malnourishment and weight loss.
“Nigerian doctors referred the baby to us due to absence of proper medical facilities in the African region. He came with severe jaundice, bleeding tendency, anemia and low blood counts. Detailed evaluation not only confirmed liver failure due to NH, but also revealed bone marrow failure due to a condition called hemophagocytic lympho histiocytosis (HLH),” said director of Childrens’ Liver Diseases and Transplant at Medanta, Dr Neelam Mohan.
Doctors at the hospital were in dilemma whether to go ahead with the transplant owing to the severe condition of the baby.
“We cautiously treated HLH and infection for three days and proceeded with a high-risk transplant which would give him at least a 70 per cent shot at life. The usual success rate of transplants at our centre is 95 per cent. Without a transplant, the baby was unlikely to survive beyond a few days,” Dr Mohan added.
Talking about the challenges in David’s case, chairman of Medanta Liver Institute A.S. Soin said, “Apart from the poor general condition and medical risk, we knew that such a small baby had never been successfully transplanted upon. Similar, rare previous attempts elsewhere had ended in failure in 1-2 weeks. David’s father James, the only suitable donor.”