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Patient dies after face transplant

A BURN victim who received a simultaneous partial face and double hands transplant in a French hospital has died, the Paris Public Hospital authority said yesterday.

The man, whose name has not been made public, died on June 8 after suffering a heart attack during follow-up surgery to the April 4 transplant.

The Public Hospital authority said it was the world's sixth partial face transplant but the first to include hands as well.

The Public Hospital authority had described the recipient as a 30-year-old man who was injured in a 2004 accident that had left him with scars preventing any social life.

The man did not show signs of rejecting the transplanted organs at the time of his death, the Public Hospital authority said. However, a bacterial inflammation appeared four weeks after the transplant.

The man had expressed satisfaction upon seeing his new face and hands before he died, the statement said.

He died at the Henri Mondor hospital in the Paris suburb of Creteil, where the operation had been performed, according to the statement.

The man's upper face had been reconstructed, with scalp, forehead, nose, ears and upper and lower eyelids attached.

The man also received a new set of hands, attached above the wrist. All the relevant nerves, tendons, arteries and veins were reconnected.

A French woman, Isabelle Dinoire, underwent the first partial face transplant in 2005 in Amiens, France.

Other recipients include another European patient, a Chinese farmer, and a woman operated on last year in Cleveland, Ohio, in the United States.


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