Donating Adult Organs to Children - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Donating Adult Organs to Children

Posted: Updated:

10-year-old Sarah Murnaghan and 11-year-old Javier Accosta have cystic fibrosis. The genetic disorder severely damages the lungs and digestive system. They're waiting for lung transplants along with 1,700 other people in the U.S. including about 30 children under the age of 11.

Matches are made based on blood type and size.

"In the case of a child, by getting lungs from an adult, you can take either part of the lung or cut down part of the lung and make it fit into that child," says Dr. Joshua Sonett of NY Presbyterian Hospital.

The donor system also takes into account how well a patient will do with a new lung.

Lung transplants are an especially high risk operation. Infection is a big problem because the lungs are exposed to viruses and bacteria.

About half of the patients who have lung transplants are living five years after their procedure.

A big reason for the long waiting list in the U.S. is the number of  lungs available. Last year there were just 20 lung donors under the age of 12. And about 1,700 donors for adults

"There is an organ donor shortage and if we can get enough organs then we would just be deciding who we are going to transplant and when and not discussing who gets which lung."

Each day, about 18 people die waiting for transplants. Sarah and Javier's family are hopeful the odds are now more in their favor.

  • Kristen Remington's Health Watch ReportsMore>>

  • Northern Nevada Medical Center Opens New Rehab & Sports Medicine Center

    Northern Nevada Medical Center Opens New Rehab & Sports Medicine Center

    Wednesday, September 20 2017 10:03 PM EDT2017-09-21 02:03:30 GMT

    Physical therapy is helpful for people who are injured, who just had surgery or who've had a stroke, MS, even Parkinson's disease. Now Northern Nevada Medical Center is offering another option for PT on the south side of town. What makes it unique in Health Watch.

    More >>

    Physical therapy is helpful for people who are injured, who just had surgery or who've had a stroke, MS, even Parkinson's disease. Now Northern Nevada Medical Center is offering another option for PT on the south side of town. What makes it unique in Health Watch.

    More >>
  • Senator Mitch McConnell Presses Ahead With Health Care Vote

    Senator Mitch McConnell Presses Ahead With Health Care Vote

    Wednesday, September 20 2017 4:55 PM EDT2017-09-20 20:55:03 GMT

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell intends to bring up a GOP health care bill on the Senate floor next week. That's according to McConnell's spokesman, David Popp.

    More >>

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell intends to bring up a GOP health care bill on the Senate floor next week. That's according to McConnell's spokesman, David Popp.

    More >>
  • Hantavirus Confirmed in Washoe County

    Hantavirus Confirmed in Washoe County

    Wednesday, September 20 2017 1:29 AM EDT2017-09-20 05:29:56 GMT

    Washoe County health district officials say a south Reno resident has contracted the county's first case of hantavirus since 2006.

    More >>

    Washoe County health district officials say a south Reno resident has contracted the county's first case of hantavirus since 2006.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 Sarkes Tarzian, Inc. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.