What was in the general hospital today

Hospital transplant kidneys from baby

Doctors in Hubei Province successfully transplanted kidneys from a premature baby to a 47-year-old woman with kidney failure.

The donor weighed just 1.3 kilograms, the lightest kidney donor ever reported, the Wuhan Union Hospital reported on Wednesday.

The woman from Duchang County, Jiangxi Province was diagnosed with uremia last June. A transplant was performed just a month later.

Without the transplant, the woman would have had blood dialysis for the rest of her life.

The kidneys used in the surgery came from a premature baby whose parents decided to donate the organs after the child died, the hospital said.

After one year of follow-up treatment, the baby's kidneys, which were between 3 and 4 centimeters long at the time of the transplant, have grown to 6.9 cm and 7.6 cm in the patient's body, which is almost the usual size of 10 cm for adults.

The two kidneys are functioning normally and the patient is in excellent health, the hospital announced.

Kidney transplants donated by infants are very difficult compared to kidney transplants from adults. In general, infants weighing less than 5 kg are not considered an organ source for transplants overseas, the hospital said.

Wang Zhendi, a transplant surgeon at the hospital, said the blood vessels and ureter, a tube that carries urine from the kidney to the bladder, are very thin in the kidneys of infants. This complicates precise surgery with a higher risk of post-operative complications. It is also more difficult for such kidneys to function in an adult body because they are not fully developed.

"The less the donor weighs, the slower the kidney will recover. Although an adult can survive with just one kidney, two kidneys are usually transplanted from an infant to improve the chances of a good outcome."

The success of the surgery means that kidney transplant sources can be expanded to include infant donors. This will narrow the gap between the number of organs donated and the number of end-stage kidney disease patients waiting for a transplant in China, the hospital said.

At the Wuhan Union Hospital alone, more than 500 registered patients with kidney failure are waiting for suitable organs to be transplanted.

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