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Pennsylvania girl eligible for adult organ transplant after ruling

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A 10-year-old girl with cystic fibrosis who had been kept off an adult organ transplant list due to an age restriction will now be eligible for an adult lung transplant, a federal judge in Pennsylvania ruled on Wednesday.

The family of Sarah Murnaghan, a patient at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, sued to prevent the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) from enforcing a policy that prevents children under age 12 from getting adult lung transplants regardless of how ill they are.

U.S. District Judge Michael Baylson granted the family a 10-day temporary restraining order.

Murnaghan is not guaranteed an immediate transplant, although her mother told CNN she believes her daughter now has a 75-percent chance of getting one in the next two weeks.

"We now have hope. We have a lot of hope," she told CNN.

A spokeswoman at HHS said the department "declines to comment on ongoing legal matter."

U.S. Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania applauded the judge's ruling, saying medical need, not age, should be the primary criterion for determining how organ donations are prioritized.

"Now Sarah has a chance for a lung transplant, and I plan to keep fighting for her and others who deserve to be eligible," Toomey said in a statement.

(Reporting by Edith Honan; Editing by Ellen Wulfhorst and Xavier Briand)

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