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Bengaluru: 8-year-old gets lifesaving liver transplant

8-year-old gets lifesaving liver transplant
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 8-year-old gets lifesaving liver transplant

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In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, Aster RV Hospital has helped 8-year-old Prerna receive a lifesaving liver transplant through their affordable liver transplant initiative for children

Bengaluru: In the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, Aster RV Hospital has helped 8-year-old Prerna receive a lifesaving liver transplant through their affordable liver transplant initiative for children. Hailing from Madhya Pradesh, Prerna was diagnosed to have acute chronic liver failure due to auto-immune liver disease and needed a liver transplant for long-term survival. As the Covid-19 pandemic struck, her mother who is a single parent was distraught not only with the diagnosis of a serious illness but also with the potential financial cost of this transplant operation.

In March 2020, Prerna started developing jaundice (yellow colouring of her eyes) and was also having fluid accumulation in her abdomen. After the consultation with several doctors the Gastroenterologist in Madhya Pradesh diagnosed acute on chronic liver failure and suggested that she should go for a liver transplant to save Prerna's life. A middle-class background, Prerna's was under stress to arrange for the surgery and the pandemic only added to the family's worry. The family reached out to the team at Aster RV Hospital and a discussion followed between Dr Rajiv Lochan, Lead HPB and Liver Transplant Surgeon and the doctor looking after Prerna in Nagpur.

After ensuring that she could safely travel down to Bengaluru, the family made the arduous flight and road journey over 1,500 kms during the lockdown and reached the hospital. "Prerna was assessed and indeed an immediate liver transplant operation was necessary for her. In children who are seriously ill, the best option is for a close relative to donate a small portion of their liver, and her mother came forward to be a living liver donor. She was found to be a suitable match for her child and 40% of the mother's left side of liver was given to Prerna," said Dr. Arvind Seshadri, Consultant Liver Transplant Surgeon at Aster RV Hospital.

Acute on chronic liver failure (ACLF) is a serious life threatening illness and a liver transplant is necessary to save the life of the patient. "Early referral is key and this is what happened in Prerna's case. In addition the family took the initiative and travelled all the way down to us and we were able to treat her successfully with a complex Living donor liver transplant," said Dr. Apurva Pande, Consultant Hepatologist and Liver Transplant Physician, Aster RV Hospital.

The family contributed close to Rs 5 lakh for the transplant and pre-operative preparations and tests. Through the crowd-funding campaign Rs 15 lakh was raised and the mother was secured nearly Rs 1.5 lakh as CSR sponsorship.

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