Double hand/arm transplant

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/2828947.stm

::boggle::

Just… ::boggle:: .

Wow! If this works out, think of the way this guy’s life will be changed. That’s amazing stuff indeed.

Kinda weird having someone else’s arms on your body, I suppose, but if it’s your one shot to get them back? Go for it!

It has interesting implications though.

He has new fingerprints. What does this do to IDs and police records?
Will he have two circular scars halfway up his forearms?
Do the skin colours match?
Can he feel with them?
Are the transplanted arms weaker than whole-from-birth arms?
Were the bones grafted together, or did they insert the transplant bones on the sockets of the man’s original elbows, or what?

::boggle::

FWIW, I don’t think Austria keeps fingerprints on record of all their citizens, unless they are convicted criminals.

Let’s not forget the chance that the arms come from an evil murderer. If movies haven’t lied to me, the arms may still carry the evil of the murderer in them. It’s even possible that they could overtake the mind of the guy and cause him to murder.

Scary. :eek:

That should have said, “could have come from…”

If there isn’t some legal mechanism to officially change ownership of those biomarkers now, there will be shortly if they do more of these surgeries.

It also sort of begs the question about what do they do when fingerprints are requested/required of a man who has no hands… I would assume some alternative would be an acceptable means of identification

They may not be “circular”, but yes, there will be some sort of scarring marking where the new hands/forearms were attached. How the final scars will look will be affected by how the skin, muscle, and tendons are attached.

Wouldn’t have to, but since there has to be a fairly close match between the donor and recipient the odds are that the skin colors will be fairly close.

Judging from similar operations (both hand transplants and re-attachment of limbs) not at first, but over time some sensation will be gained. It will not, however, be as much as the man’s original hands had.

At first, certainly – there’s a lot of healing that has to happen first. Final results should follow what happens in limb re-attachment. Typically, there is less function in the limb, which tends to make it less strong muscle-wise, but results vary enormously from one person to another.

Most likely, the bones were grafted together mid-way down the main shaft, then secured with metal plates and screws. Over time, assuming rejection does not take place, the bones should fuse together. This is much simpler than trying to reconstruct a joint. A lot depends on where the man’s hands/forearms were originally amputated as well.