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Queen Elizabeth Hospital announcement on case of organ donation and transplantation

The following is issued on behalf of the Hospital Authority:

     The spokesperson for Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) made the following announcement today (February 23) regarding a case of organ donation and transplantation:

     A 51-year-old female patient was admitted to QEH on February 18 due to stroke and passed away on February 20 despite resuscitation. According to clinical assessment, the condition of the patient's heart, liver, both kidneys and pair of corneas was unremarkable and, hence, suitable for organ transplant. The organ donation appeal was conveyed to the deceased's relatives and their consent was obtained after thorough discussion. Hospitals concerned were informed of the available organs for transplant operations.

     The organ transplantations were performed on February 21 at Queen Mary Hospital (QMH) and QEH. The heart was transplanted to a 51-year-old male cardiac patient, while the liver graft was transplanted to a 38-year-old male patient with hepatic coma at QMH. The kidneys were transplanted to two female renal patients - a 41-year-old patient at QEH and a 54-year-old patient at QMH. The related clinical checklist, recipients' conditions and overall risk assessment were considered before the transplantations were performed according to the established organ donation guidelines. Explanation was provided to the patients and relatives and consent was obtained for the operations. The transplantations were uneventful. The heart-transplanted male patient unfortunately succumbed in the early morning today due to multi-organ failure. The remaining three patients are still hospitalised in the respective hospitals and are in stable condition.

     During the organ harvest surgical procedure, a thymoma of 3.5cm x 1.5cm x 3cm was found in the donor's thymus and was considered benign according to clinical assessment. After considering the established organ donation checklist and the related risk assessment, the transplantation of organs was considered suitable. Detailed results of tissue examination were available on February 22 and showed that the thymoma was at an early stage of thymic epithelioma tumour, which is a rare type.

     Risk assessment was immediately conducted and hospitals concerned were informed. Arrangements have been made to meet the patients and the relatives for detailed explanation of related risk and follow-up plans. The recipients are under close monitoring and active follow-up. The pair of corneas, which had been sent to the Lions Eye Bank of Hong Kong earlier, will be destroyed and no transplantation will be arranged.

     Organ transplantations in public hospitals have to comply with established organ donation guidelines of the Hospital Authority (HA), including the consideration of a recipient's clinical condition and due operation urgency. According to clinical oncologists, the risk is remote for thymic epithelioma tumour to have an impact on an organ recipient.

     The HA would like to extend its appreciation again to the donating family for their meaningful act in supporting organ donation, which continues the lives of patients in need.

Ends/Thursday, February 23, 2012
Issued at HKT 19:38


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