A Japanese medical institution says an increasing number of children had to receive liver transplants from living donors this year after their condition worsened. It attributes the delay in the operations to the coronavirus outbreak.
A team led by Yamada Masaki at the National Center for Child Health and Development in Tokyo conducted a survey of 15 children who received living-donor liver transplants between May and October.
The researchers compared the cases with those of children who received liver transplants last year. They say some people did not see a doctor quickly enough and referrals to the center were delayed as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
Yamada says the problem of delayed medical procedures is not confined to liver diseases.
He stresses the need for people to promptly seek help if a child's condition deteriorates, as hospitals are taking strict anti-infection measures.
The center carries out about 50 living-donor liver transplants a year for children from across Japan.