Six-year-old boy undergoes kidney transplant at RGGGH

A six-year-old boy, who suffered an acute kidney injury, possibly caused by a snakebite, nearly a year ago underwent a kidney transplant at Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital (RGGGH) with his 32-year-old mother as a donor.

A multidisciplinary team of physicians from the departments of Nephrology, Urology, Vascular Surgery and Anesthesia of the RGGGH and the Department of Nephrology of the Institute of Child Health was involved in the treatment of the child.

Doctors say the boy, a Class I student, was drowsy when his mother returned from work. A snake was said to have been spotted nearby. He went into acute renal failure and was treated elsewhere.

Doctors said kidney damage from snakebite was one of the main problems and involved in varying degrees. While a majority of patients recovered, some progressed to chronic kidney injury without recovery.

The boy was on dialysis for eight months. He had a kidney transplant almost a month and a half ago. He was on immunosuppressants and graft function was normal. The boy would return to school, the doctors said.

Kidney transplantation in children had its own challenges, including the difference in blood vessel size between the adult and the child. The Vascular Surgery Department was called in for the operation for this. Because the immune system was robust in children, the risk of rejection was higher compared to adults, a senior doctor said.

E. Theranirajan, dean of RGGGH, said 1,540 kidney transplants have been performed at RGGGH so far. “Recently, our doctors performed a kidney transplant on a person with HIV/AIDS where the father was the donor,” he said.

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