27-year-old dies after quadruple limb transplant failure: hospital

Wednesday, February 29, 2012
By Selcan Hacaoglu, AP

ANKARA, Turkey-- A 27-year-old Turkish man who underwent the world's first would-be quadruple limb transplant died Monday, hours after the limbs were removed due to metabolic failure, the hospital said.

Hacettepe University said doctors had to remove two arms and two legs that were transplanted on Sevket Cavdar Friday night because of a serious metabolic disorder and tissue incompatibility.

He had lost his arms and legs in 1998 when he was accidentally electrocuted. Doctors first removed one attached leg on Sunday and they were forced to take all three other limbs on Monday.

“Metabolic imbalance has claimed the life of our patient despite all our efforts,” the Ankara-based hospital said in a written statement on Monday evening.

The hospital expressed sorrow and said 200 doctors struggled to keep him alive for more than 90 hours.

Murat Tuncer, the head physician of Hacettepe, on Saturday had called for blood donations to overcome possible complications following the 20-hour operation. The Turkish Red Crescent, the Muslim equivalent of Red Cross, said it has dispatched hundreds of bloods units from around the country.

The operation followed a failed triple limb transplant two months ago at another hospital in the southern city of Antalya. The doctors there were forced to remove a leg from a patient also due to tissue incompatibility. The same patient also received two arms.

Hacettepe, meanwhile, said another patient who received a face transplant on Friday was in stable condition. It was the second such operation in Turkey this year. The previous face transplant was carried out by the hospital in Antalya two months ago.

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