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Sun Dec 21 13:18:58 SAST 2014

US soldier receives rare double arm transplant

Sapa-AFP | 29 January, 2013 12:42

A US soldier who lost all four limbs in a 2009 roadside bomb attack in Iraq has successfully received a rare double arm transplant, Johns Hopkins hospital said.

The infantryman, whose name and age were not released, is one of just seven people in the United States who have successfully received the complex transplant.

The first successful double arm transplant was in 2008 in Germany.

This latest transplant was paired with an innovative treatment to prevent rejection of the new limbs which involved an infusion of the deceased donor's bone marrow cells.

It "has so far succeeded in both preventing rejection and reducing the need for anti-rejection drugs, which can cause complications such as infection and organ damage," Johns Hopkins said in a statement.

The transplant involved the connection of bones, blood vessels, muscles, tendons, nerves and skin on both arms.

More details will be presented Tuesday at a press conference with the surgeons and soldier, who also agreed to participate in a study of the new anti-rejection regimen sponsored by the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine.

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