Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Wow: Arm Transplants

When I was young, this would have been science fiction.  From January 29, 2013 ABC News:
A team of surgeons at Johns Hopkins Hospital has performed the hospital's first successful bilateral arm transplant -- giving two new arms to Brendan Marrocco, an Iraq war veteran.

One month after getting his two new arms, Marrocco tweeted on Jan. 18, "Ohh yeah today has been one month since my surgery and they already move a little."

Members of Marrocco's surgical team, led by Dr. W.P. Andrew Lee, were expected to give details today in Baltimore on exactly how the doctors did the rare transplant and prevented Marrocco's body from rejecting the new limbs.
Sad to say, but war is among the greatest promoters of medical innovation.  I am skeptical that Sgt. Marrocco's replacement arms will ever work as well as the originals -- but even this has to be a big improvement over prosthetics.  Wow.

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