Local Case Causes Officials To Mull Over Guidelines For Lung Transplants And Children

By Jim Melwert

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Federal officials say they plan to review guidelines pertaining to lung transplants for children.

This is happening after a Newtown Square mother appealed for her 10-year-old daughter, who, doctors say, has just weeks to live without the life-saving surgery.

Sarah Murnaghan has cystic fibrosis and is on a ventilator at Children’s Hospital.

Her family says she’s a top candidate for a transplant, but there just aren’t enough pediatric lungs available.

Under current regulations, adult lungs go priority to patients over the age of 12.

That has Janet making a plea to the public.

She says, “If there is a family out there that is in the gut-wrenching position of making the gift of life to someone else, that they consider offering the lungs as a direct donation to Sarah. That direct donation by a family will supersede any government rule.”

After hearing about Sarah, Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius has called for a review of the lung allocation process, but Janet says they fear that review would be too late for their daughter.

The family’s hired an attorney, but Janet says it’s too early to say if they’ll take any legal action.

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