Thomas Roberts   |  June 12, 2013

Girl, 10, to get lung transplant after sparking debate

Sarah Murnaghan, the 10-year-old Pennsylvania girl who sparked a national debate about transplant rules about children receiving lungs, will receive a transplant. Dr. Ben Gaston from University Hospital Case Western weighs in on the effects of this case on other kids awaiting transplants.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> breaking news coming to us out of philadelphia. the pennsylvania girl whose case sparked a national debate about organ donation is reportedly receiving that lung transplant . 10-year-old sarah murnaghan has cystic fibrosis , needed the transplant to survive. joining me is dr. gaston of university hospital case western . explain what you understand about this case and how quickly once they get the go-ahead for the transplant to happen how quickly this

>> yes. thanks for having me. so it can be quite a lengthy process in terms of identifying whether or not the donor lung is okay, but that will have to be harvested and taken often between hospitals, sometimes even between states to be brought to sarah to be put in. there are some things that it's not uncommon that a child will go to the operating room to get a lung and in this case it will be two lungs, that the lungs aren't satisfactory. there's a lot of steps that happen between now and the time the surgery is done.

>> doctor, one thing i want to show we have a facebook posting coming in saying, god is great. sarah got the call. she'll be taken book to the o.r. in 30 minutes . please pray to sarah 's donor, her hero. may god grant them a peace that surpasses understanding and then senator pat toomey of pennsylvania had also put out a statement in reference to this thing. i'm deeply grateful to the organ dope nor and his or her family for the potentially life saving gift to sarah . our prayer would help. we pray sarah 's body accepts the new organ the way doctors believe it can. that is the biggest concern, is sarah 's little body being able to accept this pair of lungs.

>> right. i echo her mom's prayers and senator's prayers. i think that's exactly right. there are a number of different steps and until they've actually decided to put the lung in it remains a little bit up in the air whether she would go ahead. there are things they can identify that would be wrong. do you happen to know, i haven't seen the posting. is it an adult or child?

>> we don't have the information yet. what is the duration of the surgery?

>> it can be quite a time consuming, it can take four to six hours, sometimes even longer. there are a number of considerations having to do with the size of the lung, if the lung is too big. if it's an adult, they'll take the part of the lung and getting the size right can take time. depending how stable she is, she may need to go on bypass pumps, sometimes that happens, sometimes it doesn't. all of those things can happen.

>> dr. ben gaston of university hospitals case western , thank you for joining us. i appreciate your insight.

>> sure.