TRANSPLANTS: Historic Procedure Benefits Four Patients
In a "major medical first," Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital has transplanted four organs from one donor into four different patients, the Boston Herald reports. The "historic" multiple transplant operations, which occurred over the course of a 24-hour period on Friday, involved more than 100 physicians, nurses and other medical personnel, as well as four operating rooms. An unidentified donor who died in an accident provided the organs for the four recipients. As a result, a 56-year-old man received a new heart; a 50-year-old woman and a 45-year-old woman each received a new lung; and a 24-year-old man received a kidney. All four recipients are reported to be "looking at a bright and rosy future." Sources indicated that the organ bank providing the donations had offered the lungs to another Boston hospital, which happened to turn down the offer. Physicians at Brigham and Women's contend that they are more likely than most hospitals to be able to utilize multiple organs "because of their experience and the fact that they can pull together their surgical teams on almost a moment's notice." The physicians, however, said they had to postpone a number of elective surgeries to accomplish the "medical miracle." The donor's liver ended up going to a patient at New England Medical Center, while the second kidney went to a hospital outside the region (Lasalandra, 8/23).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.