Trachea implant saves life of a toddler
The trachea implant saved the life of 2-year-old Hannah Warren. Courtesy of Jim Carlson, Saint Francis Medical CenterScientists have for the first time successfully implanted a child with an artificial trachea devoid of donor cells, the Medical Daily website has reported. The implant saved the life of 2-year-old Hannah Warren, who was born with tracheal agenesis, a birth defect that is usually fatal.
The Korean toddler born without a windpipe had spent her life in a neonatal intensive care unit in Seoul, South Korea, before receiving the implant at the Children’s Hospital of Illinois under the care of an international team of surgeons.
Other children have also received tracheal implants, but this operation marked the first time that a trachea has been grown using only synthetic material and cells from the body of the patient, according to the website.
“The procedure is groundbreaking because it eliminated the need for a human donor, and a lifetime of immunosuppressant drugs,” said Dr. Paolo Macchiarini, professor of regenerative surgery at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, and leader of the surgical team that operated on the infant.