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LOCAL > Quadruple-limb transplant patient dies

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Doctors at Ankara’s Hacettepe University Hospital held a press conference on Feb 25 and said Çavdar’s condition was stable. Şevket Çandar (L) was given two arms and two legs on Feb 24, thus marking the country’s first quadruple-limb transplant operation. AA photo

Doctors at Ankara’s Hacettepe University Hospital held a press conference on Feb 25 and said Çavdar’s condition was stable. Şevket Çandar (L) was given two arms and two legs on Feb 24, thus marking the country’s first quadruple-limb transplant operation. AA photo

Şevket Çavdar, the world’s first quadruple-limb transplant patient, died after his body refused to accept the new appendages following surgery over the weekend.

Çavdar’s heart and vascular systems failed to sustain the new limbs, doctors in Ankara said. An operation was conducted immediately to remove the three remaining limbs yesterday, following the removal of one of the legs the previous day.

Çavdar died yesterday evening due to metabolic instability, doctors said.

Çavdar’s surgeons were forced to remove one leg over the weekend. At the time they said the other leg and two arms were in good condition.

Concerns

Çavdar was not the first patient to have been given limbs which were then removed. Another patient, Atilla Kavdır, received two donor arms and a leg in a surgical operation last month in the southern province of Antalya’s Akdeniz University hospital, although his body rejected the leg a day later. Kavdır experienced multiple organ failure and life-threatening blood clots in the first 72 hours after the surgery but was reported to be in “good and stable” condition when he was discharged from intensive care Feb. 16.

“Organ and limb transplants are very critical operations and I do feel that they have been projected onto the media a bit too soon,” Berna Arda, a professor of medical ethics and medical history at the Ankara University Faculty of Medicine, told Hürriyet Daily News.

“For example, we cannot say that a uterus transplant operation is successful until a baby is born from it. It is the same with other limbs. Limb transplant operations are not a race. Perhaps the outcomes of the operations could have been given to the press over a longer period of time,” she said.

Doctors had operated on Çavdar on Feb. 24, conducting the country’s first quadruple-limb transplant, along with a separate full face transplant operation. The operations were conducted by 54 doctors and 128 health personnel. Doctors held a press conference the following day of the operation and said Çavdar’s condition was stable.

Meanwhile, the face transplant patient, who was operated on by the same team of surgeons on the same day, was reported to be in good condition.

February/28/2012

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