Santa Marta.jpg

Newborn becomes Portugal’s youngest heart transplant patient

Doctors at Lisbon’s Santa Marta Hospital have made Portuguese medical history by performing a successful heart transplant operation on a two-month old baby.

Previously, the youngest child to receive an artificial heart in this country was over three months old.

This latest procedure was all the more groundbreaking for the fact that the transplant involved a real heart.

Doctors had initially planned on implanting an artificial device, in the hope that a donor heart would eventually become available, but by chance “around two months ago, when the baby arrived at Santa Marta Hospital, a donor heart also arrived”, reports Diário de Notícias.

Little more is explained, but the upshot is one healthy baby girl recovering and responding well.

She was born premature in Porto with doctors there already aware that she was suffering from cardiomyopathy – a “very serious condition” affecting the muscles of the heart.

Announcing the successful operation which took place two months ago, cardiothoracic surgeon José Fragata said the procedure took “around three hours”, after which “the entire clinical department of the hospital” became involved in getting “someone so small” through a very delicate situation.
The hospital’s success is “another step in the courage for development”, he said.

Elsewhere in the world, surgeons have performed life-saving heart transplants on even younger babies – perhaps the youngest of all being six-day old Oliver in Arizona, America, in February 2015.

[email protected]

PHOTO: The cardiothoracic team at Lisbon’s Santa Marta Hospital, described by as a national reference.