A Person on the Waiting List in Pisa Received the Liver of a Donor Aged One Hundred Years
In Italy, and more precisely at the San Giovanni di Dio Hospital in Florence, in recent weeks, a liver was taken, in perfect condition, from a woman who died at the age of 100 years, 10 months and 1 day and the operation has no documented precedent in scientific literature around the world. The Tuscan Regional Transplant Center judged the organ suitable and gave the green light to the transplant, which took place with absolute success, in a patient on the waiting list at the University Hospital of Pisa.
The recipient of the unprecedented transplant is in good condition and appears to be responding well to the operation. For years now, has been studied the use of suitable organs, by elderly people, in transplant operations that often save the lives of young patients and the transplant center of Pisa, together with the Tuscany region, have invested a lot of resources in research, so much so that achieve a revolutionary result in the field of transplants.
Before proceeding with the complete transplant, of course, all the assessments of the clinical characteristics of the donor were made, also considering the particularly advanced age and the histological verification of the quality of the liver to be reimplanted was carried out, using ex situ hypothermic perfusion to protect organ and rule out any post-transplant complications. Regarding the recipient, on the other hand, all the stages foreseen in the pre and post-transplant care process were guaranteed with the help of all the structures involved and all the professionals involved in the Tuscan companies who actively participated and contributed to the absolute success of the operation, described, moreover, by various specialized magazines around the world.
The Tuscany Region explains, in a note, how in reality there are 2 events of great importance, which took place in the Florentine hospital of San Giovanni di Dio, and saw the realization of 2 liver explants by 2 people considered suitable, one of which was over a hundred years old while, the other, with an already interrupted cardiac activity. The controlled heart-stopping donation, which took place in one of the 2 cases, was performed for the first time and was prepared with the intervention of the Ecmo mobile team of the Careggi university hospital. The acronym Ecmo indicates the new and complex extracorporeal blood circulation technique, used in the case of the still-heart sampling operation, in which the corneas, that are currently deposited at the tissue bank in Lucca as usual, have also been removed. The age of the other donor, on the other hand, is the extraordinary feature of the second case, because the removal operation took place with a beating heart and for the first time in the world, in such an elderly woman.
The clinical situations described, so delicate and difficult to manage, have been successful thanks above all to the great professionalism and excellent organization of the healthcare professionals involved, testifying to the great preparation and efficiency of the Tuscan regional system which in the past has hosted other clinical cases of great relevance. A great help, then, was given by the growing awareness of Italians in relation to organ donation.
Already in the past, Italy had distinguished itself for a transplant performed by a particularly elderly 97-year-old woman, establishing the national record but never, in the world, had it been done by a donor who had exceeded 100 years of documented age. The almost 101-year-old Tuscan woman arrived at the hospital with a cerebral hemorrhage that caused her brain death but, as soon as she was deemed suitable for liver removal, the relatives conscientiously authorized the operation, thus saving the patient’s life waiting in Pisa.