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Medicine Science

World's First Double Hand Transplant Involving a Child Declared a Success (ctvnews.ca) 52

randomErr shares a report from CTV News: The first child in the world to undergo a double hand transplant is now able to write, feed and dress himself, doctors said Tuesday, declaring the ground-breaking operation a success after 18 months. The report in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health provides the first official medical update on 10-year old Zion Harvey, who underwent surgery to replace both hands in July 2015. Harvey had his hands and feet amputated at the age of two, following a sepsis infection. He also had a kidney transplant. Harvey was already receiving drugs to suppress any immune reaction to his kidney, which was a key factor in his selection for the 10-plus hour hand transplant surgery.
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World's First Double Hand Transplant Involving a Child Declared a Success

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  • Fucking awesome (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mwvdlee ( 775178 ) on Thursday July 20, 2017 @06:11AM (#54844799) Homepage

    's all I can say.

    • Part of me thinks this is incredible, but how useful is it when you must subject the patient to such high levels of immunosuppressants? For live saving/extending transplants there is little choice, but for something like hands I wonder if a prosthetic path isn't a better one. This is a special case since the kid needs the drugs already of course. That kid is a trooper.
      • They said right in the summary - he was ALREADY on the drugs due to the kidney transplant he received earlier. If he has to take them anyways he might as well have the hand transplant surgery as well.

        • by skam240 ( 789197 )

          Maybe read the whole post before posting yourself :) (from the above post)

          "This is a special case since the kid needs the drugs already of course."

          The above poster ALREADY acknowledged that.

      • by gtall ( 79522 )

        The BBC did a story on this. Many in the field (and probably this little feller's doctors) think that with advances in technology and the immunosupporessants problem, in the future artificial limbs will be the way to go. I'm not sure how far into the future they were projecting.

        • If they could find a way to target an immunosuppressant to a narrow set of 'things' (could not find the right word), it would have huge benefits for lots of autoimmune disorders as well as transplants. But from what I can tell we are a long way off. I would thing that a hand, for example, probably has hundreds of things in it the host body might uniquely reject. A huge challenge.
    • by Oswald McWeany ( 2428506 ) on Thursday July 20, 2017 @07:56AM (#54845035)

      's all I can say.

      You have to hand it to the doctors. I can't place my finger on the right words to say but it sounds like they've got their thumb down on this procedure.

    • by antdude ( 79039 )

      Are you missing somethig? ;)

    • by Maritz ( 1829006 )
      It's class. Funny how even in this proudly ignorant, anti-intellectual time, science keeps on delivering the fucking goods.
  • by magusxxx ( 751600 ) <magusxxx_2000&yahoo,com> on Thursday July 20, 2017 @06:26AM (#54844833)
    ...each hand was from a different political party. His parents noticed their son had a red crayon in one hand and a blue crayon in the other as he was gerrymandering Sesame Street.
    • Then we might have a chance to finally see the two parties cooperate when they notice that they'll starve if they don't.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Yes, it is common practice to give one left and one right hand.

  • Bad Joke (Score:4, Funny)

    by danbert8 ( 1024253 ) on Thursday July 20, 2017 @07:43AM (#54844997)

    I hope this kid recovers and gives the operation two thumbs up!

    • slow clap.....
    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      I hope this kid recovers and gives the operation two thumbs up!

      Well looking at the video... I doubt he can despite it being a "success". He seems to have a slight squeeze/release control which is of course infinitely more useful to grab things than a stub, but he doesn't seem to have any motor control over individual fingers and certainly couldn't do a shirt button or tie a shoe lace. I've seen people with a simple claw prosthetic do more, of course the upside is that these hands look human but as long as he can't hold them naturally it's only half way there in that de

  • ...deserves two really big hands.
  • The unasked question here is why was the Sepsis not managed in first place. It is well understood condition and early intervention is the key to successful outcomes, was he denied early healthcare cover, people should be told.

    https://www.nice.org.uk/guidan... [nice.org.uk]

    • Even perfect management doesn't guarantee successful return to complete health. Supportive treatment with vasopressors means keeping the critical organs perfused with enough oxygen delivery to survive. When you have to squeeze every artery tightly with drugs in order to keep the brain, heart, kidneys, etc., perfused, guess what parts of the body run out of blood flow first? The ones with the smallest arteries, farthest from the core - i.e., the extremities. Almost certainly what happened here.

      I don't tre
  • by almitydave ( 2452422 ) on Thursday July 20, 2017 @12:22PM (#54846387)

    Now, I'm not normally one to bitch and moan about the editorial staff, but how the heck is this article not from the "give-em-a-hand dept."?!?

  • by antdude ( 79039 ) on Thursday July 20, 2017 @04:03PM (#54848323) Homepage Journal

    I was born without a thumb and with a tiny annoying useless thumb (couldn't move it due to lack of bones and muscles -- it was removed in 1984) as parts of my disabilities. Almost a decade later, I got a surgery to rotate my right hand's left non-thumb finger 90 degrees into a thumb. It was a success. I can use it for writing better, holding light cups, etc. However, it is not very strong. I still use my left untouched hand for heavier and stronger stuff. I didn't want to make a thumb for that hand for that reason. :)

"The eleventh commandment was `Thou Shalt Compute' or `Thou Shalt Not Compute' -- I forget which." -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982

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