HHS chiefs seeks review of lung transplant policy

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius is calling for a review of policies affecting patients needing lung transplants as a 10-year-old Pennsylvania girl whose parents say she’s been denied the life-saving surgery because of her age remains hospitalized on a ventilator.

Sebelius asks that the review particularly consider changes that would make more transplants available to children. She says the disparity between donors and children awaiting transplants is “especially stark.”

Sarah Murnaghan’s parents say the Newtown Square girl has end-stage cystic fibrosis. They say she has been awaiting a transplant from a child donor but is also eligible for a lung from an adult. But they say that under existing policy, adults less severely ill than Sarah could get a lung that she needs to live.

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