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India’s First Dedicated Pediatric transplant Program at Apollo Children Hospital, Chennai successfully completed over 50 Pediatric Transplants

04 Dec 2017

With India's First Dedicated Pediatric Transplant program, Apollo Children Hospital has completed more than 50 successful pediatric transplants, the youngest being a 5-month-old infant. This is the only centre in India to have a dedicated infrastructure and team of specialist in pediatric transplant care. This facility enables Apollo Chennai Hospital to undertake complex procedures like solid organ transplantations in pediatric patients.

Children who underwent transplant surgeries came together and interacted with doctors from Apollo Hospitals. Present on the occasion were Dr. Anand Khakhar, Dr Anand Ramamurthy, Dr Manish Varma, Dr Mahesh Gopasetty, Dr Vishwanathan and Dr Vasantha Roopan from Apollo Hospitals Greams road and Apollo Childrens Hospital.

The superlative infrastructure and technology at Apollo Children Hospital reassures the critical care teams at Apollo Hospitals to carry forward with any procedure, even in a short span of time to save precious lives of Children.

Apollo's Dedicated Pediatric transplant outreach saved the lives of kids like 9-month-old boy Mammon, from Oman. Mammon was diagnosed with Biliary Atresia, a common cause of liver failure in toddlers, a critical condition that accounts for almost half the cases of liver failure among children. This disease leads to faster complications and higher mortality. Symptoms of the disease appear or develop about two to eight weeks after birth. Mammon was admitted into Apollo Childrens Hospital in 2010 in a critical condition and received a lifesaving liver transplant donated by his father. Mammon gained his childhood back after the transplant procedure. He is now 7.5 years old and is leading a normal and happy life.

Apollo Childrens hospital treated yet another strange case of Hyperoxaluria. Gopinatha, a 7 year-old- child from Kumbakonnam, Tamil Nadu was diagnosed with Hyperoxaluria, a rare condition in which deficiency of the liver enzyme (Alanine: Glyoxylate aminotransferase) leads to renal failure and systemic Oxalosis. Combined liver-kidney transplantation (LKT) is recommended for end‐stage renal failure (ESRF) in adults, but management for infants and young children is controversial. Supported by sophisticated infrastructure and technology and super specialist doctors, the team at ACH handled the kid with utmost care and performed a Liver and Kidney transplant with his father and grandmother as live donors.

Most of the children who underwent transplants under Apollo's Dedicated Pediatric Transplant Program were under five years. Dr. Anand Khakhar, Director of the Department of Liver Transplants, Apollo Hospitals Chennai said, "Performing transplants in Children is an intricate and tedious procedure which involves high risk. Clinical management of pediatric transplant recipients is technically more challenging because they are all tender and delicate to handle. Their bodies are relatively small in size and their margin for tolerance in physiologic shifts or fluid and electrolytes is very less. An experienced and dedicated team that is specialized in pediatric care becomes imperative to out win all these odds. Apollo Children Hospital has a dedicated team of specialists to perform pediatric liver transplants and has performed the largest number of pediatric liver and kidney transplants in the state so far."

It is estimated that in India 4000 children need a liver transplant with hardly 100 cases getting treated. This may be attributed to the high cost of liver transplant surgery and lack of awareness among people apart from other social reasons due to which not many families opt for a liver transplant for their children.

The classic signs of chronic liver failure are severe jaundice, itching, excessive bleeding, stunted or retarded growth, bloated bellies, irritability and vomiting blood.