10 things you didn’t know about childhood liver disease
Liver Health Knowing the facts can make a huge difference when it comes to understanding childhood liver disease.
- There are over 100 known childhood liver diseases
- More children in the UK are currently diagnosed with a liver disease than childhood leukaemia
- Childhood liver disease is not related to alcohol or drinking during pregnancy
- Childhood liver disease is not visible at birth; symptoms develop as the liver attempts to perform everyday functions and diagnosis of some liver disease can be later into childhood or adolescence.
- A warning sign of liver disease in new-born babies can be prolonged jaundice right after birth (jaundice lasting longer than 2 weeks in a baby born at full term)
- The first paediatric liver transplant in the UK took place in 1984.
- Biliary Atresia is the most common childhood liver disease recorded in the UK, affecting an estimated 50 new born babies each year.
- The liver is the only organ in the body that can be split for transplant. This means a heathy adult liver weighing 1.4kg can be split down and part can be transplanted in to a young child or baby. The smallest baby ever to be given a liver transplant in the UK weighed just 1.8kg
- There are three specialist paediatric liver centres in the UK- Leeds General Infirmary Hospital, Birmingham Children’s Hospital and King’s College Hospital, London.
- Children’s Liver Disease Foundation is the only charity in the UK dedicated to fighting all childhood liver diseases. The charity provides information to families and healthcare professionals, support to young people and families, funds vital research and acts as a voice for all affected - www.childliverdisease.org.