A 14-year-old girl from Ibimirim, Pernambuco, needed to undergo an emergency liver transplant. The surgery was performed last Friday (20), at the Oswaldo Cruz University Hospital, in Recife.
According to the doctors who performed the procedure, the teenager was in a coma when the 6-hour surgery began. The patient was admitted to the hospital in a serious condition and, from the symptoms presented, it was clear to them that it was a liver disease. The teenager had vomiting, jaundice and dark urine.
Doctors said they will continue to investigate the symptoms to try to identify the cause of the disease. Before arriving at Oswaldo Cruz, the young woman had already passed through two other health units: a hospital in Arcoverde (backlands of the state) and the Mestre Vitalino Hospital, in Caruaru, in the countryside of Pernambuco.
During the press conference, held after the completion of the surgery, doctor Cláudio Lacerda, one of the specialists responsible for the procedure, stated that “the adolescent’s clinical condition began last week, evolving into a case of hepatic failure, considered fulminant, the which led to a coma. In these cases, the solution is a liver transplant, otherwise the patient will not survive many days” if the procedure is not performed.
“In the case of this teenager, all tests were performed and the cause of the disease was not identified. Therefore, her diagnosis would be hepatitis, in its most unknown cause.”
To perform a liver transplant, some criteria are taken into account: the size of the organ, the blood group and the degree of severity of the patient. The teenager from Pernambuco had the highest degree of the disease.
The liver donor suffered brain death from head trauma, after an accident in Paraná. The family of the 30-year-old man authorized the organ donation at dawn on Friday and the local medical team carried out the organ harvesting at 2 am. A Brazilian Air Force (FAB) plane transported the liver to Recife and, at 9 am, the teenager’s surgery began.
About 20 specialist doctors were involved in the surgical procedure to save the teenager’s life. The doctor Américo Gusmão reported that, during the next 48 hours, the girl should be under observation. After this period, she should be sent to one of the rooms of the hospital unit.
“It all depends on the evolution of the condition. If all goes well, which is what is expected, in a maximum of 72 hours the teenager will go to a hospital room.” According to Américo Gusmão, after a week of the procedure, the use of drugs should be started to avoid organ rejection.
In a note, the Pernambuco Health Department stated that the Ministry of Health was notified about this possible case of mysterious hepatitis in the state. With the case of the teenager, there are now six suspicious reports of the disease in Pernambuco. Of these, one case has already been discarded and five are still being investigated.
So far, 70 suspected cases of mysterious hepatitis have been reported across the country to the Ministry of Health, 12 of which have already been ruled out and 58 are still under investigation. No case has been officially confirmed by the federal agency.