The lives of 39 children were saved with liver transplants by Texas Children's in 2012
HOUSTON, Jan. 31, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Texas Children's Hospital in Houston announced that in 2012 the hospital saved the lives of 39 children through liver transplantation, making it the most active pediatric liver transplant center in the nation and one of the most active in the world. To learn more about liver transplantation at Texas Children's Hospital please visit texaschildrens.org/liver-transplant.
Unfortunately, children can face a myriad of diseases that impact the liver leaving transplantation as the only treatment option. These include: biliary atresia, the most common reason for liver transplantation in young infants; a range of metabolic and genetic liver diseases, such as alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency, familial intrahepatic cholestasis (FIC), organic acidemias and cystic fibrosis liver disease; Alagille Syndrome; and unresectable liver tumors, such as hepatoblastoma, the most common liver cancer in children. At any given time Texas Children's typically has 20 children in need of a liver transplant.
"The longer children wait for transplants, the sicker they become," said Dr. Ross Shepherd, director of the Liver Center at Texas Children's Hospital. "As medical care providers one important job prior to transplantation is to keep these children as well as possible for as long as possible to get them to their transplant."Luckily for children waiting for a liver transplant they do not always have to wait for a child donor. Adult liver donors can help save the lives of children also as this is an organ that can be split and shared among transplant recipients. What this means is that more than one life can be saved by one donor liver. For instance, a liver could be split with a child taking the smaller section and an adolescent patient or adult taking the larger.