Hand transplant possible in UK
Jeremy Laurance is a writer on health issues. He is former health editor of The Independent and the i and has covered the specialism for more than 20 years. He thinks the harm medicine does is under-appreciated, the harm it prevents over-rated, and that cycling works better than most drugs. He was named Specialist Journalist of the Year in the 2011 British Press Awards.
Friday 16 April 1999
Nadey Hakim, surgical director of the transplant unit at St Mary's Hospital, west London, said the success of the operation on Clint Hallam, an Australian, carried out by an international team of surgeons in Lyons last September, had confirmed the surgery was feasible.
Mr Hallam, 48, who lost his arm in an accident with a chainsaw 15 years ago, was given the right forearm and hand of a Frenchman who had died in a motorcycle crash. At first all went well and he was pictured holding a pint of beer.
Earlier this year, after receiving pounds 20,000 from a Sunday newspaper for his story, he travelled to North America and was out of touch with his doctors for more than a month. When he appeared on the CBS TV programme 48 Hours in New York his hand appeared swollen and he said it was deteriorating. A CBS producer, Joe Halderman, described it as "almost completely dead".
Today, however, the surgical team that carried out the transplant say in The Lancet that Mr Hallam and his new hand are doing well. Although patients who have lost hands in accidents have had them reattached, the transplant of a hand from a donor had not previously been attempted - except once, unsuccessfully, in Ecuador in 1964 - because of fears of rejection.
Professor Jean-Michel Dubernard, of the Edouard Herriot Hospital, Lyons, and colleagues attribute their success to the development of new immunosuppressant drugs.
Mr Hakim said: "I am putting together a protocol to do [the operation] in London. The only question is when."
- 1 Windows 10: man updates PC, wakes up to find porn slideshow on repeat
- 2 The 'world's most beautiful vagina' has been debunked by science
- 3 John Green schools morning show hosts after awkward interview with Cara Delevingne
- 4 Supermodel Gisele Bundchen mocked for wearing a burka to avoid being seen visiting plastic surgeon in Paris
- 5 Bulletproof armadillo puts Texas man in hospital after shot bounces off hard shell
Whoopi Goldberg tells Cara Delevingne to suck it up: 'She's not famous. I'M famous'
John Green schools morning show hosts after awkward interview with Cara Delevingne
Supermodel Gisele Bundchen mocked for wearing a burka to avoid being seen visiting plastic surgeon in Paris
Bulletproof armadillo puts Texas man in hospital after shot bounces off hard shell
'Rowdy' Roddy Piper dies: Wrestling legend dies aged 61, according to reports
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn says 'we can learn a great deal from Karl Marx'
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Public anger after French sunbather beaten up by gang for wearing a bikini in Reims park
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband
£17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a leading company in the field ...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£26041 - £34876 per annum: Recruitment Genius: There has never been a more exc...
£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing travel comp...