In a first for the country, doctors in the capital on Wednesday claimed to have successfully conducted a liver transplant involving donor and recipient with different blood groups, giving a new ray of hope to thousands of patients suffering from organ failure.
"Thousands of liver transplants that could not happen because the donor's blood group was different from the one of the recipient can now happen. With this surgery, we have conquered the mismatch blood group barrier that did not allow many patients of organ failure undergo a transplant," Dr AS Soin, Medanata's chief liver transplant surgeon, said.
Two-year-old Zuana today became the first patient in the country to undergo such a transplant, he said.
A patient of biliary atresia, Zuana with O positive blood group underwent a successful liver transplant from her grandmother Naseem who is A positive, he said.
Six months back, Zuana, who had come from Rajasthan, was diagnosed of biliary atresia, a chronic, progressive liver problem by doctors at a hospital in New Delhi. None in the family could donate as the blood group of her father, mother and grandmother did not match with hers.
Dr Neelam Mohan, director of paediatric hepatology at the hospital, said, "There was no cadaver donor even after waiting for six months. She had reached the stage of coma and her survival was dependent on the transplant. It was then that we decided to go for the mismatch blood group transplant (scientifically termed as ABO-incompatible transplantation).
Soin said, "Though it was our first, but we did not undertake it as an experiment. We studied the work of other doctors in the same area, investigated our own patient well, chalked out our own set of protocols and when we were confident that we would be able to meet all challenges, then that we went ahead with the surgery."
Today, six weeks after the surgery, the child is fit and fine to go home. Thanks to the team effort by doctors in New Delhi.
Dr R Kakodar, senior consultant, said, "The purpose of the entire treatment was to suppress the antibody levels in her body to less than eight units for at least three weeks after the transplant so that the body adapts to the mismatched liver.
"This surgery will increase the transplant rate by 50% in the country and it is a ray of hope for those patients with organ failure whose donors get rejected due to mismatch blood group," Soin said.