Surgeons plan first children's heart transplants in Ireland


Transplant recipient Lexi Murphy, from Co Waterford, with her parents, Kim and Declan. Photo: Conor McCabe 

Surgeons are planning to carry out heart transplants on children in Ireland for the first time - sparing them the journey to the UK for life-saving surgery.

Prof Jim Egan, director of the National Organ Donation and Transplant Office, said he believed the transplants - needed by around three to five children each year - could be done in Our Lady's Hospital in Crumlin.

Currently, children have to fly to Great Ormond St Hospital or Newcastle Hospital in the UK for the surgery, but they face a race against time, particularly in poor weather conditions.

He said he had begun talks on starting the heart transplants in Crumlin in light of the current level of expertise the hospital, which has three surgeons, two of whom do the operations on adult patients in the Mater Hospital.

"We should look to ourselves and see if we can be self-sufficient.

"The heart can only be out of the body for a limited time and there is a risk in transporting children within four hours. It may mean someone had to get from Galway to London in that time." Continue reading


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