Every second paediatric liver transplants depend on financial donations
Around fifty per cent of paediatric liver transplants depend on crowdfunding and donation through foundations, said experts from Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals on the occasion of completing the milestone of 500 paediatric liver transplants.
This was evident from the case of parents who came from far-flung areas of Bihar to get a liver transplant for six-month-old baby Prisha at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital. The baby was suffering from Biliary Atresia, a blockage in the tubes (ducts) that carry bile from the liver to the gallbladder. The mother donated a part of her liver to save her.
In this case, 90% of the funding was raised through crowdfunding.
“When I came to the hospital from Bihar for treatment (liver transplant), I did not have money and I was not able to get the operation on my daughter. But the management of Apollo hospital helped me and assured me the money for treatment through the foundation,” said the father of the child.
The successful transplant was carried out by a team of doctors including Dr Anupam Sibal, Group Medical Director and Senior Paediatric Gastroenterologist and Dr Neerav Goyal, Senior Consultant, Liver Transplant.
Dr Anupam Sibal, said, “We are proud to have reached this important milestone and are honoured to have been able to help so many children and families in need.”
“Over the years several challenges have been overcome – transplants in small babies weighing as little as 4 kgs, transplants in babies and children with serious medical conditions other than liver failure, ABO incompatible transplants when the family does not have a blood group compatible donor. We are so happy that our 500th patient is a baby girl and nearly 45% of our patients are now girls,” Dr Sibal added.
Dr Neerav Goyal, “We have unmatched technical skills of our highly specialized surgeons and physicians, an infrastructure that is comparable with the best in the world and above all the faith of our patients that we have nurtured over time. We are now able to perform the most complex of liver transplants in babies where the size of the blood vessels is as small as 3-4 mm.”
“Paediatric liver transplantation requires a multidisciplinary team and success requires harmonization between all the team members. The Apollo Liver Transplant Program is now consistently performing close to 50 paediatric liver transplants a year, a number only a handful of centres in the world have achieved,” Dr Goyal added.
According to the hospital, the challenges were indeed multiple in the case of this baby but they were overcome by the family’s resolve and the treating team’s commitment.
A feeding tube was put in through her nose to supplement feeds and achieve nutritional rehabilitation for the transplant, while preparations were being made. Her mother donated a part of her liver and Prisha recovered beautifully after a successful liver transplant. Prisha weighed only 4.6 kgs at the time of the transplant
It may be noted that liver transplants are comparatively cheaper in India than in the United States and Europe.
Dr Sibal said that liver transplants cost 2.5 crores in the US, 1.5 crores in Europe and 18 lahks in India.