22 October 2006

Gross Anatomy and Six Feet Under

Sorry, TV fans, this post has nothing to do with screen dramas (although I do like Six Feet Under).
Instead I present to you two amazing stories involving body parts:

First is this: A man severs his left arm above the elbow. Surgeons reattach it but the wound develops infection. This necessitates removal of the reattached segment, but this means it will no longer be viable. The only way to keep it viable is to maintain blood flow to the limb. What did they do?

...there were two different options: reamputate the arm or try to save it by taking it into a healthy zone where it would be possible to nourish it while we cleaned the infected area.

The idea of taking the arm to another anatomical location came by reading a similar case published by Michael Wood (Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA) in which he attached an arm in the groin.

With the agreement of the family it was decided to transfer the arm to the groin where large blood vessels are readily accessible. In 4 hours we disassembled the reconstruction performed earlier and connected the blood vessels of the arm to those of groin by means of microsurgery.

Read more about this amazing procedure (with graphic pictures) here.

And the second body parts story:

Seven undertakers in the New York area have admitted being part of a scheme to steal body parts for transplants.

New York City Police Commissioner, Ray Kelly, said: "The unspeakable desecration of the bodies - PVC pipe was used to replace bones. Indeed, the very equipment that they used, the mask and gloves and surgical items were tossed into the bodies."

Read more here.


Mark said...

Imagine the possibilities of having an arm on your groin.

I'd like a 90% estate tax on anyone who doesn't agree to organ donation. I'm not condoning undertakers stealing them but why just let them rot?

WestEnder said...

I like the idea of an organ donation/reception database; you're not eligible to receive unless you're on the list to donate.