Hettie Lynne Hurtes |

First Hand Transplant Program on West Coast

The UCLA Health System has launched the new Hand Transplant Program , the first of its kind on the West Coast and only the fourth such center in the US. The program is designed to help those whove suffered the traumatic loss of a hand or forearm and allow them to be able to use their limbs again. They're currently looking for qualified candidates for a clinical study. The first hand transplant was performed in 1998 in France, with the US following suit the next year. To date, nine patients have received hand transplants in this country; two of those: double hand transplants.

Eligibility criteria for the hand transplantation study include:
The patient must be between 18 and 60 years of age.
The amputation must have been at the wrist or at the forearm level.
The patient must have no serious infections, including hepatitis B or C, or HIV.
The amputation was not due to a birth defect or cancer.
The patient is otherwise in good general health.
The patient will commit to extensive rehabilitation, will adhere to an immunosuppressant medication regimen, and will participate in follow-ups with the transplant center.

Patients interested in participating will first have to undergo a careful evaluation to determine if they meet the conditions for participation in the program. The evaluation includes taking a detailed medical history, a physical examination and lab tests, X-ray tests, and a psychological examination.

For more information you can go to Hand Transplant.