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Double Hand Transplant Completed At Jewish Hospital

By Sheila AshKentucky’s first double hand transplant was completed Wednesday at Louisville’s Jewish Hospital Hand Care Center.Lead surgeon Dr. Warren Breidenbach (pictured at right) says for the first time doctors were able to use the nerves of the patient’s own hands for the procedure."We were able to salvage tissue from the hand to help reconstruct the new hand. So in essence we were able to take a hand from the donor and then drape it or slot it over the structures which we could save in the hand which were functional and would help it," he said.Breidenbach said this is the first hand transplant he’s performed in which the patient’s damaged hands were still attached, but because of a burn injury he couldn’t use them. Kentuckiana Organ Donor Affiliates (KODA) coordinated the hand donation with the family and hospital.The names of the patient and donor have not been disclosed.This was the sixth hand transplant procedure to be performed at Jewish Hospital.

Rick Howlett was midday host and the host of LPM's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." He was with LPM from 2001-2023 and held many different titles, including Morning Edition host, Assignment Editor and Interim News Director. He died in August 2023. Read a remembrance of Rick here.