Two consecutive heart transplants were done on children in less than 24 hours by the pediatric cardiac surgery team in Riyad at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre. Two infant girls, one from the United Arab Emirates, aged under eight months, and the other from Saudi Arabia, aged 19 months, were in severe condition before their transplant surgeries owing to heart failure.
The transplants necessitated the expertise of trained specialists, the use of cutting-edge medical facilities, and the coordination of efforts on a global scale. KFSHRC’s surgical team flew to Dubai to remove a donor heart from a patient who had already passed away. Logistics between Dubai and Riyadh were largely handled by the Saudi Center for Organ Transplantation, the Saudi Ministry of Defense’s aeromedical evacuation team and United Arab Emirates National Centre for Regulating Donation and Transplantation of Human Organs. The transplant recipient, a baby of only eight months old, is now the youngest kid in the Middle East to have a heart transplant thanks to the successful organ transfer and subsequent surgery.
For the second procedure, doctors from King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre and the Saudi Ministry of Defense’s aeromedical evacuation team travelled to Makkah to extract a heart from a deceased donor, which was then brought back to the hospital and transplanted into the 19-month-old. Both girls’ conditions have been steadily improving after the surgeries, and the interdisciplinary and highly specialized KFSHRC team continues to monitor them closely with frequent medical checkups.
King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre
King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre boasts the largest organ transplant centre in the entire Middle East, serving both children and adults. Since its founding in 1988, the clinic has successfully completed more than 431 heart transplants, putting its performance on par with international standards. Their Heart Transplant Program ranks high among the best in the world and is the largest of its kind in the region. They performed (26) transplants in 2021, 10 in pediatric patients against 20 in 2020, a 30% increase with great survival rates.
High-quality clinical services, such as cutting-edge oncology, transplantation, cardiovascular disease, neuroscience, and genetics care, have a long tradition at King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre. The goal of this institution is to deliver cutting-edge medical care in tandem with cutting-edge academic study. At KFSHRC, there are nine high-quality transplantation programs for both adults and children. These programs include bone grafts, liver, kidney, cornea, small intestine, pancreas, and stem cells. Since the beginning of each program, their medical staff has always had the best results in the region, including the highest rates of successful transplantation, organ acceptance, and patient survival.
Among transplant hospitals in the U.K. and the U.S., King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre has the highest graft survival rates, ranking first in liver and kidney transplants for children under 18 years old. Newsweek also said that in 2022, King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre was one of the best hospitals in the world.