Pediatric Liver Transplantation: Unique Concerns for the Critical Care Team

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Abstract

Liver transplantation originated in children more than 50 years ago, and these youngest patients, while comprising the minority of liver transplant recipients nationwide, can have some of the best and most rewarding outcomes. The indications for liver transplantation in children are generally more diverse than those seen in adult patients. This diversity in underlying cause of disease brings with it increased complexity for all who care for these patients. Children, still being completely dependent on others for survival, also require a care team that is able and ready to work with parents and family in addition to the patient at the center of the process. In this review, we aim to discuss diagnoses of particular uniqueness or importance to pediatric liver transplantation. We also discuss the evaluation of a pediatric patient for liver transplant, the system for allocating them a new liver, and also touch on postoperative concerns that are unique to the pediatric population.

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