Home > News > 【SHINE】Girl with rare blood type receives liver donation from father

【SHINE】Girl with rare blood type receives liver donation from father

August 12, 2020      Author: Cai Wenjun

A 9-month-old girl with a rare blood type is recovering after a partial liver transplant from her father, who has the same rare type.

The surgery, which was conducted on Tuesday, was a success and the patient only lost 50 milliliters of blood during the operation, officials from Renji Hospital (affiliated to Shanghai Jiao Tong University) announced on Wednesday.

The girl was diagnosed with biliary atresia at birth. Though she received surgery when she was 2 months old, her condition didn't improve and she began to suffer other complications.

The girl's parents took her to Renji Hospital in July and doctors confirmed that she needed a liver transplant.

During a pre-surgery check, doctors found the child has type O Rh negative blood, present in only 1 in every 1,000 Chinese.

Her father, the donor, also has the same type.

Liver donation and transplant are both risky operations. Patients may suffer blood loss, but there was a limited stock of compatible blood for the girl due to its rareness.

The hospital spent two weeks collecting two samples of type O Rh negative blood in preparation for the surgery.

As the child's condition grew worse, doctors decided to conduct the surgery. Multidisciplinary cooperation and discussions were conducted before the surgery to ensure safety and reduce blood loss during the operation.

Both the child and her father were sent to the operating room at 7:30am on Tuesday. Doctors removed 240 grams of liver from the father and transplanted it to the child.

The 6-hour surgery went smoothly. Both the child and her father are in stable condition.

"When we can't prepare enough blood stock, we try to avoid blood loss using our skills," said Dr Xia Qiang, the leading surgeon on the transplant.

Dr Xia Qiang during the liver transplant surgery.