Girl receives heart from 4-year-old boy in first such transplant in Ukraine

(CNN) — Amid raging war and the constant threat of Russian missiles, a heart transplant was successfully performed on a 6-year-old girl in Kyiv, officials from the Heart Institute of Ukraine’s Ministry of Health announced on Monday. Health.

The three-hour operation, which took place on Sunday evening, delivered the girl the heart of a 4-year-old boy, whom doctors had declared brain dead after suffering an aneurysm.

It was the first time a heart transplant had been performed in Ukraine on such young children, the institute said.

“The operation was also unique in that the donor and recipient were very young children and the transplant required more effort from the doctors,” he added.

The transplant was performed by a team of doctors led by Dr. Boris Todurov, Chief Scientist of the Department of Minimally Invasive and Surgical Treatments.

“The operation went well, the girl was extubated two hours after the operation,” Todurov said in a post on his official Facebook page.

The operation took place Sunday evening and lasted about three hours, the Heart Institute said. (Credit: Transplant Coordination Center of Ukraine)

The Heart Institute released footage of the operation showing the mother of the boy whose heart was donated at the girl’s bedside.

“The operation went well and the new heart is beating in the girl’s chest,” Oksana Dmytrieva, chairwoman of the Ukrainian parliament’s subcommittee on modern medical technologies and transplant development, said in a statement. emotional message on Facebook.

“It is extremely moving that the mother of the deceased child came to listen to the heartbeat of her son in the other breast…I have tears in my eyes for this photo,” he added .

Three other organs from the boy, two kidneys and a liver, were transplanted to two other children in another hospital in Kiev, the National Children’s Hospital “Ohmatdyt”.

Both kidneys were transplanted to a 12-year-old boy from the occupied part of the Kherson region. “He had been waiting for a transplant for over 3 years and lived in Ohmatdyt,” the hospital said in a Facebook post. A liver was also transplanted into a 15-year-old boy from the Kirovohrad region.

“A big thank you to the parents of the little angel, who did an extremely noble act in this very difficult time for the family! You are people with a big and good heart! said Dmytrieva. “May the little angel rest in peace. And a speedy recovery to the patients who had the opportunity to lead a full life!

Transplants would not be possible without donors’ relatives making the decision to “save the lives of people they don’t know after losing a loved one,” Dmytrieva said. “It is the noblest manifestation of humanity. Especially when it comes to the loss of a child.

Heart surgery during the war

So far this year, 23 heart transplants have been performed in Ukraine amid the war, the Heart Institute said.

If an operation is already underway and the anti-aircraft systems are activated, the operation cannot be interrupted and will continue even if there is an attack on the city, the institute told CNN on Monday.

If the operation has not started, the medical team and the patient wait for the anti-aircraft sirens to stop before starting the operation.

Earlier this year, when Kyiv was less protected by air defences, all patients were taken to a specially equipped air-raid shelter.

Those who could move did so on their own, while those who could not were helped by staff, the Heart Institute said.

The only exception was patients in the intensive care unit, who could not be moved, so the on-call doctor and other medical staff remained with them.

The Heart Institute has acquired special generators so that operations can continue during power outages and has a self-contained water supply.

During the war, the institute said it saw more patients with cardiovascular disease and chronic illnesses worsening due to stress.

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