Monday 21 May 2018

Irish toddler gets world first adult kidney transplant using 3D printing

Ben Tucker

Chris Boucher discusses the amazing medical work that went into saving his daughter, Lucy's life.

Lucy, from Antrim in Northern Ireland, had suffered from kidney damage her dad was able to donate his own kidney to save her.

Using a 3D modelling print out, Chris was able to see the size of his own kidney, "it's about 11cm long and 6cm wide, it's quite sizeable."

Before Lucy (3) was eligible for a transplant she needed to be 6.5kg and the dialysis machine keeping her alive had a limit of supporting bodies at a maximum of 4kg.

Thanks to Dr Malcolm Coulthard, he managed to devise a way of adapting a haemodialysis machine by testing it on himself to sustain Lucy until she was able to take the donation from her father.

"The pleasure is just seeing her running around," Chris said, "right now she's eating a mini pizza and before she would have only nibbled the tip of one slice!"

It is the first time in the world that 3D printing has been used to aid kidney transplant surgery involving an adult donor and a child recipient.

Lucy suffered heart failure as a baby when she developed supraventricular tachycardia - meaning her heart was beating irregularly faster than normal.

This resulted in her body, including her kidneys, being starved of oxygen.

Having undergone surgery to address her heart condition, Lucy faced the a lifetime of dialysis treatment due to her kidney failure but that all changed when she was referred to experts at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and Great Ormond Street Hospital.

They performed the transplant on November 24 at Great Ormond Street using a kidney donated by her father.

Belfast Telegraph

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