Doctors Announce First Ever Baby Born From Uterus Transplanted From Dead Body
A healthy baby girl has been born using a uterus transplanted from a dead donor, doctors say.
The baby was born at the Hospital Das Clinicas at the University of Sao Paulo School of Medicine in Brazil.
She was delivered last December to an unidentified 32-year-old woman, who due to a rare condition was born without a uterus, according to the medical publication, the Lancet.
The donor reportedly died of a stroke aged 45.
The baby was delivered by C-section 35 weeks and three days after the woman was impregnated. The donated uterus was then removed from the patient after the birth.
With both the mother and baby healthy a year later, it represents a massive step forward for maternal science.
While a number of donated uteruses had been used in giving birth to children before, none had been done using the uterus from a dead donor.
"This can be an important limitation when you don't have a close friend or a relative who can donate their uterus," said Doctor Wellington Andraus, the head transplant surgeon involved in the procedure.
The first baby born from a transplanted uterus arrived in Sweden in 2014.
But crucially, similar transplants have been done with fetuses which came from a live donor.
However there are potential consequences to breakthroughs such as these, and not enough attention is being paid to the risks, professor Deborah Davis of the University of Canberra told 10 daily.
"I don't know that they're highlighted enough when we're celebrating these kind of breakthroughs," she said.
She said just one of the consequences of a such a procedure is the potential rupturing of the uterus, which could have had catastrophic effects for the mother and the child.
It's vital that mothers have the risks associated with a surgery and pregnancy like this thoroughly explained to them, Davis said.
"I think the women involved obviously have to have careful counselling about whether or not that's something they'd be willing to take on, that kind of risk," she said.