Girl's Double-Lung Transplant A Success - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Girl's Double-Lung Transplant A Success

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A 10-year-old Pennsylvania girl whose efforts to qualify for an organ donation spurred public debate over how organs are allocated has had a successful double-lung transplant.
    
Sarah Murnaghan suffers from severe cystic fibrosis. A family spokeswoman says Sarah received new lungs from an adult donor at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia on Wednesday.
    
Her family says it's "thrilled" to share the good news.
    
During double-lung transplants, surgeons must open up the patient's chest. Complications can include rejection of the new lungs and infection.
    
Sarah's family and the family of another cystic fibrosis patient at the hospital challenged transplant policy that made children under 12 wait for pediatric lungs to become available. They said pediatric lungs are rarely donated.
    
Sarah's health was deteriorating when a judge intervened in her case last week, giving her a chance at the much larger list of organs from adult donors.

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A family spokeswoman says the lungs being implanted in a 10-year-old Pennsylvania girl at the center of a debate on organ donation are from an adult.
    
Sarah Murnaghan, who suffers from severe cystic fibrosis, is receiving her new lungs at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
    
No other details about the donor are known, including whether they came through the regular donor system or through public appeals.
    
Murnaghan's health was deteriorating when a judge intervened last week, giving her a chance at the much larger list of organs from adult donors.
    
Spokeswoman Maureen Garrity says the family received word about the lungs Wednesday night. The Newtown Square girl was in surgery just after 11:30 a.m. Thursday.
    
Garrity says the family is "beyond excited" but mindful that someone else "had to lose a family member."
    
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A 10-year-old girl whose efforts to qualify for an organ donation drew public debate over how organs are allocated was getting a lung transplant Wednesday, her family said.
    
Sarah Murnaghan, who suffers from severe cystic fibrosis, was receiving her new lungs Wednesday at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, a family spokeswoman said.
    
Her health was deteriorating when a federal judge intervened last week, giving her a chance at the much larger list of organs from adult donors.
    
It wasn't immediately clear if the girl was getting lungs from an adult or child donor. A hospital spokeswoman, Dana Mortensen, said she had no information to release and would not confirm if Murnaghan was getting a transplant.
    
Murnaghan's mother, Janet, said in a Facebook post that the family was "overwhelmed with emotions" and thanked all her supporters.
    
"Today is the start of Sarah's new beginning and new life!" she wrote, adding that the donor's family "has experienced a tremendous loss, may God grant them a peace that surpasses understanding."
    
A double lung transplant can take six to 12 hours, and Murnaghan's surgery began around noon Wednesday. Surgeons must open up the patient's chest, and complications can include rejection of the new lung and infection.
    
Murnaghan's family and the family of another cystic fibrosis patient at the same hospital challenged existing transplant policy that made children under 12 wait for pediatric lungs to become available or be offered lungs donated by adults only after adolescents and adults on the waiting list had been considered. They said pediatric lungs are rarely donated.
    
On June 5, federal Judge Michael Baylson in Philadelphia ruled that Murnaghan of Newtown Square, Pa., and 11-year-old Javier Acosta of New York City should be eligible for adult lungs.
    
The Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network says 31 children under age 11 are on the waiting list for a lung transplant.
    
The network added Murnaghan to the adult waiting list after Baylson's ruling. Her transplant comes just two days before a hearing was scheduled on the family's request for a broader injunction.
    
Critics warn there could be a downside to having judges intervene in the organ transplant system's established procedures. Lung transplants are difficult procedures and some say child patients tend to have more trouble with them than adults.
    
The national organization that manages organ transplants this week resisted making emergency rule changes for children under 12 who are waiting on lungs but created a special appeal and review system to hear such cases.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A Philadelphia hospital isn't releasing any information about the lung transplant that Sarah Murnaghan's family says she's receiving today.
    
The battle by the family of the 10-year-old girl to qualify her for an organ donation prompted public debate over how organs are allocated. Last week, a federal judge intervened, giving her a chance at the much larger list of organs from adult donors.
    
But it's not clear whether she's getting an adult lung or one from a child. A hospital spokeswoman says she has no information to release.
    
The girl's mother, Janet Murnaghan, said in a Facebook post that the family is "overwhelmed with emotions." She's thanking all of Sarah's supporters.
    
The case could bring change for other children. Another young patient at the hospital -- who, like Sarah, has cystic fibrosis -- also went to court to be added to the adult donor list.
    

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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