Just like adults, children can be diagnosed with diseases and medical conditions that cause organ failure. Unfortunately, it’s often more challenging to match a child in need of an organ to a suitable donor organ. Not all children are large enough to receive adult-size or even teenager-size organs. Here at Sunrise Children’s Hospital, our pediatric specialists keenly feel parents’ pain when they are told that their children could die without an organ transplant. During National Donate Life Month this April, take a few minutes to become better informed about the critical need for organ donors in Las Vegas and around the country.
Understanding the need for organ donors
Children’s hospital staff members do everything possible to save the lives of children, but sometimes even superior pediatric care fails. The loss of an infant or an older child is unspeakably devastating. It can be difficult to make major decisions in the immediate aftermath of a child’s death, but taking a few minutes to consider organ donation is an act of love. In the U.S., there are nearly 2,000 young patients waiting for a life-saving organ , according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In 2015, 939 families made the decision to give the gift of life to other families by donating their children’s organs.
Deciding to donate a child’s organs
The decision to donate is a personal one. Many parents decide to donate their child’s organs because, in the midst of their own heartbreak, they wish to help save the lives of other children. Some parents are comforted by the thought that, although they’ve lost their own precious child, a part of their child will live on in someone else.
Authorizing organ donation
If an organ donor is under 18 years of age, the donation must be authorized by a parent or legal guardian. If you’re considering pediatric organ donation, a doctor or nurse can guide you through it and answer your questions.
At Sunrise Children’s Hospital in Las Vegas, parents will find high-quality, compassionate care delivered by dedicated pediatric specialists. It’s our mission to give your child and your whole family the care and support you deserve. You can call a nurse at our children’s hospital at (702) 233-5437.
Good nutrition is a cornerstone of a healthy childhood, but it isn’t always easy for kids to get the nutrients they need. Some children are affected by digestive disorders. There are many types of digestive disorders that affect humans and some of these are hereditary or have a tendency to run in families. When you watch this featured video, you’ll hear a pediatric gastroenterologist at Sunrise Children’s Hospital introduce some of the digestive diseases that may run in families.
Pediatric specialists may diagnose Hirschsprung disease shortly after birth. Children with this inherited digestive disorder often fail to have a bowel movement during the first few days of life. Hirschsprung disease is characterized by the absence of nerve cells that trigger the muscular contractions that are necessary to move stool through the colon. Poor feeding, vomiting, diarrhea, malnutrition, delayed growth, and abdominal pain can result from Hirschsprung disease. This disease can lead to other serious complications, including intestinal perforation, inflammation, and obstruction.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
IBD is a group of diseases that involve chronic inflammation of the digestive tract . It includes ulcerative colitis (UC), which results in swelling of the rectum and, in some cases, swelling that extends farther up the colon. Crohn’s disease is characterized by the formation of ulcers that can develop anywhere from the mouth to the anus. Unlike UC, patients with Crohn’s disease may have “skip” areas, which are areas with normal tissue in between affected areas. Inflammatory bowel diseases tend to run in families. This means that a child may be at a higher risk of being diagnosed with an IBD if a close relative has it.
Cystic fibrosis is an inherited disorder. It is not exclusively a digestive disorder, but it can indeed affect the digestive system. The thick mucus that is characteristic of cystic fibrosis can block the transportation of enzymes from the pancreas to the small intestine. This can result in failure to thrive, severe constipation, intestinal blockage, and rectal prolapse.
The clinical dietitians at Sunrise Children’s Hospital work closely with families to help them meet their children’s unique nutritional needs. Our children’s hospital in Las Vegas is committed to helping kids feel better and live life well. If you need a referral to a pediatric specialist for your child’s digestive disorder, you can call our children’s hospital at (702) 233-5437.