Organ transplants were a revolution in medicine that granted humanity even greater control over health and disease. The first organ to be transplanted successfully was a kidney in 1954, followed by the first liver, pancreas and heart transplants by the late 1960s; lung transplants followed in the 1980s.
Organ transplants have become a crucial staple of medical care as they can significantly improve quality of life and prolong the lifespan of patients. Now, researchers in Spain have made medical history after they successfully implanted an intestine in a 13-month-old child.
Little Emma was a victim of intestinal failure that had made it nearly impossible for her intestines to absorb nutrients from digested food. Her intestine was found to be too short when she was just a month old, and her health began deteriorating soon after. At such a young age, this condition could have potentially life-changing and fatal consequences if left unaddressed. Emma had gone through several operations before the intestinal transplant, and none had been successful.
One of the reasons why organ transplants in infants are so challenging is that there is a shortage of pediatric donors. Intestinal transplants present an even higher degree of infection and rejection with at least 30% of applicants passing on while they are on the waiting list.
Despite these challenges, researchers from LaPax Hospital were able to successfully implant an intestine from an asystole donor. Spanish National Transplant Organization Director Beatriz Dominguez Gil noted that this was the “first intestinal transplant from an asystole donor” and that it represented a significant milestone in transplant medicine.
Emma’s father, Daniel, said that the family has traveled a rocky road in recent years, stating that they have had hard times but are excited to move forward now that Emma has been given a new lease on life. The 13-month-old girl also received a new stomach, liver, pancreas and spleen along with the intestinal transplant; she is now recovering at home with her parents.
Spain is one of the top countries in the world for organ transplants, performing 102 transplants per million residents in 2021, one of the highest rates in the world.
An asystole donation is sourced from a recently deceased person after physicians have confirmed the cessation of the heartbeat and breathing. Once organs are extracted from an asystole donor, the organs are artificially preserved via a system called Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) before they are implanted in the recipient.
As different companies such as Odyssey Health Inc. (OTC: ODYY) develop and bring to market cutting-edge medical devices aimed at improving diagnostics and treatment, patients such as Emma will have a better chance at living a normal life despite starting out with major health challenges.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Odyssey Health Inc. (OTC: ODYY) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/ODYY
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