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Thread: Pediatric Transplants of Adult Lungs Based on Medical Necessity

  1. #1

    Default Pediatric Transplants of Adult Lungs Based on Medical Necessity

    So .... In America, it's policy to refuse the transplant of adult organs to children ... even though the child may be on the waiting list for an extended period of time ...

    Take a look at this case in particular ...

    Lung Transplant Out of Reach for 10-Year-Old - ABC News

    It's hard to believe that a society wouldn't try every possible avenue when presented with a case such as this.

    There is a petition for this particular case should anyone wish to sign up.

  2. #2 Member bactrian's Avatar
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    May 2004
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    This is a tragic case. I feel great sympathy for the young girl and for her family. The inflexible rule that the child should be 12 years old appears to be working harshly against Sarah Murnaghan .

    I am just wondering how "unfair" this rule is in general operation.(It should be noted that I have no medical training and that I am not claiming any expertise).

    I would express(the non-expert) opinion that an adult pair of lungs are probably too large for children below a certain size. As far as I know an organ ,once harvested, must be transplanted within a short time period.

    With this time-critical imperative , limiting the parameters that must be considered is a wise course. It will be unfair to some but will probably save more live in the long run by getting organs to recipients at an early stage.

    The above may , of course be complete sh1te and nonsense.

    Anyone with relevant medical expertise please comment
    Just because you did something stupid yesterday does not mean you cannot do something smart today!

  3. #3


    Fair comments bactrian ... and probably correct... to an extent. However, Dr. Devang Doshi, a pediatric lung specialist at Beaumont Children's Hospital in Michigan is quoted in the linked article as saying ...

    '...children under 12 years old should be considered with the adult patients and awarded organs based on how severe their conditions are. Adult lungs may not perfectly fit child patients, but they can be used to save multiple children.'

    The article further states that ... 'One of his 6-year-old patients' got a partial lung donation from her mother several years ago in a last ditch effort to save her life.'

    The outcome of this attempt is not made clear ... but still I feel there is prevalent trend of strict adherence to the letter of the law (much easier to fall back on this rather than make controversial decisions) when in fact common sense and the opinion of experts such as Dr Doshi should be weighed in each individual case.
    Last edited by Central Scrutinizer; 5th June 2013 at 12:43 PM.

  4. #4 Member Sliabh Mis's Avatar
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    Oct 2012
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    I am on the NHS Organ donor register and being very small in height and body build I would like to think that my organs could be used to save the lives of children. I have as a nurse looked after adults and children who have had transplants and I have looked after adult and child donors.

  5. #5


    Breaking news ...

    It seems the campaign by Sarah's family and friends, of which the petition in the OP is a part of, has yielded results...

    Sarah has been added to the adult waiting list! ... good news for these people and a welcome development to others facing a similar predicament

    Sarah Murnaghan to be added to transplant list |

  6. #6

  7. #7


    Another update to this interesting case for those interested...

    Sarah Murnaghan Returns Home — Girl Leaves Hospital After Adult Lung Transplant - Hollywood Life

    The best of luck to Sarah and her family.

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