Two years after the resumption, the Hospital almost doubles the total number of liver transplants, with 23 procedures
Pequeno Príncipe, the largest exclusively pediatric hospital in Brazil, has reached a record in the number of transplants performed in 2021, the second year of the coronavirus pandemic. In all, there were 282 procedures, eight more than in 2019, when the institution registered its last record. There were 122 bone tissue transplants, 74 bone marrow transplants, 43 heart valve transplants, and 43 more organ transplants (heart, kidney, and liver).
Resumed in January 2020, liver transplantation was one of those responsible for the rise in numbers. With 23 procedures and a 97% survival rate, the Pequeno Príncipe practically doubled the total of this type of transplant in relation to the first year of resumption and transformed dozens of lives. “The idea was to really double from one year to the next and keep the growth, because these are children who needed to seek for help outside the state. And last year we received patients from Acre, Mato Grosso, and Brasília,” explains the head of the Liver Transplantation Service, Giovana Camargo de Almeida.
The surgeon also remembers that the success in increasing the number of transplants was possible because Paraná is one of the states with the highest organ harvesting from cadaveric donors per inhabitant – there are 50 donations per million inhabitants. “We do many surgeries with live donors. But in some very specific cases, we also do it with a cadaveric donor. Sometimes there is no donor in the family, or sometimes the case of the child is very serious, with a very high risk, so we don’t expose a healthy donor,” she points out.
The uniqueness of infant transplantation further reveals the importance of awareness about organ donation. It was the solidary gesture of a grieving family that saved the life of 2-year-old Flor de Lis de Oliveira da Palma Cardoso. “She was in a very serious condition in the ICU, had a little improvement, and the donor came at just the right moment. If she had not gone under transplant, I would have lost my daughter. Today she is the joy of the house and entertains all day long. Even taking immunosuppressants, she is a healthy child,” recalls her mother, Fanimar José de Oliveira.
A national reference in complex treatments for children and teenagers, Pequeno Príncipe is also consolidating its position in liver transplantation in children under 10 years old, like Flor de Lis. It is the only one in Paraná to perform the procedure on patients in this age group. “We have very low weight children and we have been able to operate on children of five kilos, six kilos, with good results, and provide a very adequate support for these patients,” says the doctor responsible for the service.
The support structure is another differential of the Liver Transplantation Service and the other transplantation services at the Pequeno Príncipe. As the Hospital offers assistance in 32 medical specialties, the teams count on specialists from the most different areas to compose the group assisting the patients. Added to the medical teams are nursing professionals, nutritionists, physiotherapists, speech therapists, pharmacists, psychologists and social workers. The cases are widely discussed by the multiprofessional team before surgery is indicated. The surgical, anesthetic, and clinical planning is carefully prepared and individualized for each patient. All this – allied to the physical structure of the institution, with technical conditions and equipment with state-of-the-art technology in its 68 beds in the ICU and nine rooms in the Surgical Center – guarantees a careful and ample work with excellent, humanized and equitable care.
The success of the procedures is the result of the service’s resumption, which completed two years in January. For this historic moment, the Hospital received surgeon Rodrigo Vianna, director of the Miami Transplant Institute (MTI), the largest transplant hospital in the United States. Besides directing the institution, the doctor is internationally recognized for the technique that has substantially reduced the duration of liver transplant surgeries.
The Pequeno Príncipe has gathered technical conditions and equipment similar to those used in the United States. The team formed to perform the transplants is multiprofessional, also following the international standards. Altogether there are 22 professionals, among surgeons, hepatologists, anesthesiologists, intensivists, nurses, pharmacists, physiotherapists, speech therapists, nutritionists, psychologists and social workers.
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