Monday, Apr 27, 2015Monday, Apr 27, 2015

US soldier receives rare double arm transplant

Published on Jan 29, 2013 7:35 AM
In this July 4, 2012 file photo, Army Sgt. Brendan Marrocco of Staten Island, N.Y., wearing a prosthetic arm, poses for a picture at the 9/11 Memorial in New York. Marrocco, 26, the first soldier to survive losing all four limbs in the Iraq war, has received a double-arm transplant in Baltimore. His father, Alex Marrocco, said Monday, Jan 28, 2013 that his son had the operation on Dec 18, 2012 at Johns Hopkins Hospital. -- PHOTO : AP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - 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 Monday.

Army Sgt. Brendan Marrocco of Staten Island, New York, 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.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!