September 20, 2021

Bicol Express News

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Vatican Children’s Hospital performs first heart transplant from COVID-19 positive donor

The Bambino Gesù organ transplant team at work. Text/photo: Vatican News

The first pediatric heart transplant from a COVID positive donor was authorized by the National Transplant Center and the Italian Pharmaceutical Agency to a 15-year old boy believed to be the first in the world was performed by the Department of Cardiac Surgery, Cardiology and Heart-Lung Transplant Medical Team of the Bambino Gesu Hospital(Baby Jesus Paedriatic Hospital) in Rome, a tertiary care academic hospital. The boy is negative of the
SARS-CoV-2.

According to the dispatch, the boy after receiving a new heart was treated with a monoclonal antibody to eliminate the risk that he might develop COVID-19.

Professor Antonino Amodeo explained that in the pediatric field it is more complicated to find a compatible heart for a transplant than it is for adults.

Because of the pandemic since last year and the restrictions to fight the spread of the virus made it more difficult to undertake such transplant from a donor positive of the virus to a negative recipient he said.

Finding a compatible heart for the transplant is a unique opportunity is a choice and a matter of life and death since the boy had been in the waiting list for a compatible heart from a donor. He was since September last year on the waiting list and his condition deteriorated that he was implanted with an artificial heart a lifesaving bridge solution while waiting for a compatible heart according to the dispatch.

The boy patient had dilated cardiomyopathy condition that impairs the heart’s ability to efficiently pump blood to the body. For children it is considered rare with 0.57% cases per 100 thousand people compared to the general adult population is about 1 in 2,500 cases. (via Vatican News/June 10, 2021)