Critical Demand For Pediatric Liver Transplants: Vital Role Of Organ Donations

Johns Hopkins Children’s Center is highlighting the urgent need for pediatric liver transplants as a long-waiting patient, 9-month-old Desire Murdock, is set to receive a transplant within the next month. Desire has been in the hospital since November with blocked bile ducts, and without a liver transplant, her survival is at stake. Dr. Kathryn Smith, the medical director of pediatric liver transplants, encourages potential donors to consider being a living donor, emphasizing the life-saving contribution they can make.

While the need for organ transplants is dire, there have been significant advancements in pediatric liver transplant surgeries. The Children’s Hospital Los Angeles recently completed its 500th liver transplant with a one-year patient and graft survival rate of 100%. Similarly, Vanderbilt University Medical Center conducted its first combined lung and liver transplant, showcasing the importance of multidisciplinary care. However, the journey of a transplant patient does not end with surgery, and continuous research and innovations are crucial in this field.

Highlighting the importance of organ donations, nurse Hannah Fleming, who received a liver transplant as a baby in 1998, serves as living proof of the life-changing impact of organ transplants. Her story and the ongoing need for donors underscore the critical need for organ donation. Furthermore, research into emerging therapies, such as mRNA therapies for rare liver genetic diseases and in vivo gene editing treatments, offers promising frameworks for future treatments. In conclusion, the stories of Desire Murdock and Hannah Fleming, combined with medical advancements and ongoing research, emphasize the critical need for organ donors, especially in pediatric cases.

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