A leading consultant at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle says tiny babies are dying because current legislation governing heart donation is out of date.
Dr Richard Kirk was speaking after the publication of a report by researchers at Great Ormond Street Hospital calling for the UK to be brought in line with Europe, American and Australia
At present strict rules prevent babies under two months becoming donors, but they don't forbid organs being imported from abroad. Dr Kirk says the current system has led to the deaths of five babies under his care in the past 18 months
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The total number of cases in the region rose by 20 between Friday and Sunday including one cardiac arrest.