Organ transplants from brain-dead boy completed

PHOTO: Organ transplants from brain-dead boy completed

Operations to transplant the liver and kidneys donated from a boy who was declared brain-dead were completed successfully early Saturday, marking Japan's first-ever transplant of those organs from a child under the age of 6.

The boy's liver was transplanted to a girl under 10 years old who is suffering from hepatic insufficiency at the National Center for Child Health and Development in Tokyo.

The operation started at 4 p.m. Friday and ended at about 3 a.m. Saturday. The organ recipient will be able to leave the hospital in two to three months if all goes well.

The center has conducted about 200 adult-to-child organ transplant operations, primarily involving live donors, over the past six years.

Mureo Kasahara, who performed the transplant from the boy, said it was difficult to connect the tiny blood vessels of the children.

The donor's kidneys were transplanted to a woman in her 60s with chronic glomerulonephritis at Toyama Prefectural Central Hospital in Toyama. The operation took 7-1/2 hours, ending around 2 a.m. Saturday.

Usually a donor's kidneys are transplanted to two recipients. But in this case, the woman received both of the boy's kidneys because of their small size.