back to article Oz organ recipient changes blood group

An Australian teenager has been dubbed a "one-in-six-billion miracle" after her blood group changed following a liver transplant, Reuters reports. Demi-Lee Brennan, now 15, suffered liver failure at nine and received a donated replacement. She subsequently became ill while on anti-rejection drugs, but her blood group …


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  1. Chad H.

    occurs razor

    I assume the simple explanation, someone mixing up their +s and -s, is out of the question?

  2. heystoopid
    Paris Hilton


    Hmmm , it still shows that even despite the major advances of the past one hundred odd years much of modern medicine is still in the form of the bucket brigade science with many reactions and interactions not fully understood due to the large numbers of variables involved !

    Like Paris the world is still full of surprises !

  3. Karl Lattimer

    occam's razor actually

    "All things being equal often the simplest solution is the correct one"

  4. Anonymous Coward

    What a cover up

    One hell of a pass-the-buck excercise... and who was gullible enough to believe the pillock who tested her blood? "It wasn't my mistake, guv, her blood type has actually changed, and while she was at it she developed a porcine ability to fly"

    Must be aliens

  5. Darren


    Not wanting to be too pedant, but isn't that Occam's razor???'s_Razor

  6. Alex Wolff
    Jobs Horns

    Would that be Ockham's razor...

    ...named after the bloke who first stated it?

    And they told me a philosophy degree would never help me in IT

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    Now they need to work on a way to duplicate this, since if the exact cause can be narrowed down, anti-rejection drugs (for the rest of the life of the recipient) could become the exception rather than the rule.

    That's until they can clone your organs in a few days, of course, in which case it becomes a moot point.

  8. Rob Crawford

    Surely then

    if it was a mixup over her original blood group it still dosn't account for being able to take her off the immuno supressant drugs ?

  9. Bryan

    Doubt the occam's razor theory

    reasons being....a liver transplant requires between 6 and10 units of red blood cells which would have to have matched her previously confirmed blood type or else there would have been all kinds of complications due to mismatched blood, its also not the responsibility of only one person to check the blood match (would you trust one person to do that with all the Muppets in the world today?) so the blood was certainly confirmed before they went pumping 10 units of it into her during the procedure

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo


    Well you are all very clever really ain't you?

    As it says in the story - they had to stop her use of anti rejection drugs. Every organ transplant recipient, same blood group or not, has to use these anti-rejection drugs pretty much for the rest of their lives.

    So your feeble, dim witted comments are pretty much just that eh?

    Next time stick to something you know before you comment - like maybe your C64.

  11. Anonymous Coward


    How does this qualify as a one in six billion miracle?

    Because it has only happened to one of the six billion people alive on the planet at this very moment?

    The vast majority of us have never undergone an organ transplant, so it's more a 1-in-(number of people who have ever received an organ from someone with a different blood group) miracle, which is a significantly higher number.

  12. Jon Green
    Thumb Up

    It's been done already

    This shouldn't be a great surprise, and seriously I doubt it was a labelling mix-up: cross-matching goes way deeper than blood group. Recent experiments in kidney transplants have shown that if the recipient has their immune system destroyed by full-body irradiation, then a bone marrow transplant from the kidney donor, then the kidney transplant, the recipient can manage without anti-rejection drugs, since their immune system is effectively replaced by that of their donor's, and any remnants of their own seem to call a truce. See for some coverage. The treatment's not without its risks, but it'll probably do wonders for the five year survival rate when refined.

  13. JimC

    Occams Razor indeed

    I find it very hard to believe that her blood group would only have been checked once with all the medical intervention she must have had in her life, or that she could possibly be alive if they'd got the blood group wrong for her operation...

  14. Anonymous Coward

    See this week's New Scientist

    Where it is explained that if you give a bone marrow transplant from the organ donor to the recipient, then the body is fooled into thinking that the new organ belongs and won't reject.

    By the way, my colleagues in the Blood Transfusion Service would be horrified at the suggestion that anyone could mix up +s and -s that way!!

  15. Pete

    @Darren - I'm not a pedant either.

    I think you mean 'pedantic', not pedant.

    Not that it matters.

  16. Steve

    A long time ago...

    When Horizon reported on real science they had a program on transplants. Part of it was a discussion on rejection, and why it happens. A female boffin in the US decided to look it from the other way round, e.g why don't babies get rejected from the womb? I can't remember how, but she came to the conclusion that putting the organ in an Oxygen solution (no, not water) for a couple of days significantly lowered the risks of rejection. Unfortunately no one took up the idea.

  17. Dave
    Paris Hilton

    O+ / O-

    O+ is generally the most common blood type going. O- is less common.

    ( ~40% vs ~10%, for the sake of generalisation.)

    My version of Occams Multiblade Swivel Headed shaving implement, says that someone with medical problems will know their Blood Group, and it will be confirmed frequently. Hospitals love to extract the sweet, sweet liquid, and test it.

    I say "Life form adapting to live under extreme conditions." beats "Multiple Paris Hiltons all working on the same patient."

  18. Marc-Oliver Kalis
    Thumb Up

    For those who think it's a cover up:

    I am not saying it is impossible, but rather improbable, becasue you'd have a nother problem:

    it is very easy to trace the blood, that was used for the transplant. so if that was all 0neg, then there is definately no mix up, since she would have died on the table..

    All the best from Krautland

  19. Richard Harris

    Male Contraceptive - old joke

    If they figure out how they did this, they could launch the new male pill. Doesn't stop the woman getting pregnant, it just changes the blood type of the man to stop him getting caught.

    I'll get my coat.

  20. Rob Crawford

    Hope I wasn't included in the dimwit factor

    even though I forgot that a blood transfusion would be required for the operation (DOH !) and even if somehow they had mixed up the Rh factor, and even though she survived all that. Being able to stop taking the immuno supressant drugs is a pretty huge thing

    As for the maths claiming 6 billion to one or not, who cares.

    If the details are correct then it may give a much better long term future for transplant recipiants.

  21. Ayrin
    Dead Vulture

    No, it wouldn't kill her

    I also find it highly unlikely that this is a simple mistake, but would like to point out that the mistake (if it existed) wouldn't have been lethal.

    If I'm not quite mistaken, a person with O+ can accept O- blood, and since she had/was believed to have O- before, this is what she would be given.

    Well, there is blood on the pic.. :-D

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Scientific evidence...

    See this:

    And this:

  23. jai

    the obvious explanation

    she's not a cheerleader is she?

    save the liver..... save the world......

  24. Anonymous Coward

    And next, it just needs to take over her ovaries...

    For the purpose of an organism being to pro-create, if this donor liver takes over her ovaries next (<insert freaky possession music here?>), and she has kids, then it'll have done its job, even if the rest of the original owner wasn't able to. ;->

  25. Menno
    Thumb Up

    Quality of life

    Not having to take the immunosuppresants anymore is an enormous improvement in the QoL. The drugs have numerous side-effects and interactions.

  26. Anonymous John


    A liver has been given a body transplant.

    Coat please. Are you sure? It was brown when I checked it in.

  27. Chad H.


    thanks guys... Spellchecker seems to be overly enthusiastic.

  28. Anonymous Coward

    (O-) + (O-) = 0+ ?

    Article said: "realising her blood type - and immune system - had taken on the characteristics of her organ donor", as Oz's Daily Telegraph puts it.

    If she was O-, she could only take blood from someone who is O- I believe, so becoming O+ couldn't be taking on characteristics from her donor? I must have understood then I'll reread.

  29. Matthew Mell

    @ Steve

    the research in to oxygen solution therapy is still being further researched. its being investegated for its use in cancer treatments

  30. Zac T

    @Jon Green

    Thanks for the link. Made me feel a lot better knowing that if my current transplant ( second ) fails at some point, there is hope down the road.

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