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Organ Transplants

ENTERTAINMENT
December 24, 2008 | Tim Rutten, Tim Rutten is a Times staff writer.
Lawrence Ferlinghetti once quipped that since 1959, Fidel Castro had been the United States' only real president. Even discounting a canny old poet's fondness for aphoristic Dada, there's a squirm-worthy element of truth in the remark. Barack Obama will be the 11th American president to hold office since Castro and his comrades triumphantly entered Havana 50 years ago this New Year's Day. Since then, it's fair to say that the great dictator has held generations of U.S. policymakers in reactive thrall.
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SCIENCE
December 18, 2008 | Mary Engel
Dr. Maria Siemionow had been preparing for 20 years to make the phone call. "We have a donor," she told Dr. Frank Papay, the chief of dermatology and plastic surgery at the Cleveland Clinic, late one night. Then she headed to the hospital to give a woman who had no upper jaw, nose, cheeks or lower eyelids -- who was unable to eat, talk, smile, smell or breathe on her own -- a new face.
SCIENCE
December 17, 2008 | Karen Kaplan and Shari Roan
A woman being treated at the Cleveland Clinic has an almost entirely new face following the most extensive facial transplant ever performed, the medical center said Tuesday. The surgery was the first face transplant in the U.S. and the fourth in the world. Few details about the patient have been released in advance of a news conference scheduled for today. About 80% of the patient's face was replaced with skin and muscles harvested from a cadaver.
SCIENCE
November 13, 2008 | Thomas H. Maugh II, Maugh is a Times staff writer.
Heart transplant patients are as much as 25% more likely to survive if the sex of the donor is the same as the patient's, researchers said Wednesday. The results surprised experts because, for most types of transplants, sex differences are irrelevant as long as a good immunocompatability is achieved.
HEALTH
June 30, 2008 | Linda Alcorace, Special to The Times
When you're lying in bed and can't keep food down, muscle metabolizes first. Dr. Zhaoping Li, my UCLA clinical nutritionist, says the rate is two to three pounds of muscle wasted for every pound of fat. Bug-eyed and big-bellied with fluid after four months' hospitalization for liver failure, I had legs and arms like matchsticks. I could walk no farther than one block. Me, the lifelong athlete, former aerobics instructor and dancer -- now wait-listed for a transplant.
NATIONAL
June 28, 2008 | From Times Wire Reports
The mastermind behind a multimillion-dollar scheme to loot hundreds of corpses, including that of "Masterpiece Theatre" host Alistair Cooke, and sell bone and tissue for transplants was sentenced to 18 to 54 years in prison. Michael Mastromarino, 44, who owned New Jersey-based Biomedical Tissue Services, pleaded guilty to enterprise corruption, body stealing and reckless endangerment.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 7, 2008 | Charles Ornstein and John M. Glionna, Times Staff Writers
An influential U.S. senator sent a series of letters Friday seeking additional details about four liver transplants at UCLA Medical Center involving patients who were suspected members or associates of Japanese organized crime groups. "While surgeons do not seek to pass moral judgment on the patients they treat, Americans hope at the very least that foreign criminal figures wait in line along with the rest of us," Sen. Charles E.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 19, 2008 | Charles Ornstein and Tracy Weber, Times Staff Writers
Prompted by serious lapses at three California organ transplant programs, federal inspectors have documented broad failings by the agencies that oversee the nation's transplant system and raised doubts about the pace of promised improvements. In a soon-to-be-released report, the Government Accountability Office confirms findings by The Times in 2005 and 2006 that transplant regulators failed to spot problem programs and didn't step in quickly to protect patients. Sen.
NATIONAL
April 7, 2008 | From Times Wire Reports
A man who received a heart transplant 12 years ago and later married the donor's widow died the same way the donor did, authorities said: of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Sonny Graham was on the verge of congestive heart failure in 1995 when he got a call that a heart was available in Charleston. That heart was from Terry Cottle, 33, who had shot himself. Grateful for his new heart, Graham began writing letters to the donor's family and later met and married his donor's widow, Cheryl Cottle, then 28. No foul play was suspected in 69-year-old Graham's death in Vidalia.
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