The Herald of Everett, Washington
Customer service  |  Subscribe   |   Log in or sign up   |   Advertising information   |   Contact us
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up  Green editions icon Green editions

Girl who got new lungs has pneumonia

SHARE: facebook Twitter icon Linkedin icon Google+ icon Email icon |  PRINTER-FRIENDLY  |  COMMENTS
Associated Press
PHILADELPHIA -- A 10-year-old Pennsylvania girl who had a pair of adult-lung transplants after her parents sued to change national rules regarding organ donations has developed pneumonia in her right lung, which her mother described on Monday as "a large setback."
Sarah Murnaghan's mother wrote on her Facebook page that after a "tough" day on Sunday, Sarah's condition had become more stable on Monday. She said her daughter's doctors believe the infection was caused by "aspirations from her belly," which is the entry of stomach contents into the lungs.
"We have an amazing team of doctors who go above and beyond but also walk this road with us in such a kind and compassionate way," Murnaghan wrote.
Sarah has been at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia for months with end-stage cystic fibrosis, a chronic genetic disorder that causes sticky mucus to build up in the lungs, pancreas and other organs. The girl from Newtown Square, Pa., a Philadelphia suburb, was a top candidate for organs from a child donor but none was available and her parents sued to change a national transplant policy that put her at the bottom of the adult list for patients 12 and older.
A federal judge intervened and the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network -- the private nonprofit group that manages U.S. organ allocation -- added Sarah to the adult list.
Sarah's situation has sparked a national debate and raised questions among some health experts and medical ethicists about how organ donation rules are developed and under what circumstances they might be disregarded.
Sarah received an adult set of lungs on June 12 but they failed within hours. She stayed on a ventilator until a new set became available for a second surgery, which occurred June 15.
Her mother said after Sarah's second lung transplant that those lungs were infected with pneumonia but doctors had removed the infected portion before the transplant and the girl's condition was too dire to wait for another set of lungs to become available. That transplant did prove more successful, and Sarah was able to take a few breaths on her own after doctors removed her breathing tube.
She had to be put back on the ventilator because of diaphragm paralysis, which her mother described as a common complication that prevents the lungs from fully expanding. Sarah underwent surgery to repair her diaphragm July 2.
The typical life expectancy for cystic fibrosis patients is 37 years and continues to rise as new medical advances are developed. Lung transplants do not cure the condition but can extend the patient's life.
Children's Hospital officials have declined to comment on Sarah's case.

More Nation & World Headlines


HeraldNet Headlines

Top stories and breaking news updates


Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus