Call for transplants

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 22 February, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 22 February, 1997, 12:00am

Deng's body parts - particularly his corneas - would be better used for transplants than research, medical experts said yesterday.

But organs such as his kidney and liver would have needed to be transplanted within hours of his death.

Medical Association member Dr So Kai-ming said deterioration would most likely render Deng's kidneys unsuitable for transplanting, but his liver could be donated.

'Preparations must be made for transplants to be done within one or two hours. A 92-year-old kidney is probably not in very good shape. For the liver, it depends on the condition. It could be used,' Dr So said.

'Parkinson's disease would not affect the liver or kidney - only old age would, and his general health.' Deng's corneas, however, could be transplanted days after his death.

Eye consultant at Happy Valley's Sanatorium Hospital Dr John Chang So-min said: 'As long as his cornea looks healthy, it can be transplanted to anybody. It could last for another 20 to 30 years. We transplant 90-year-old corneas to patients. There's no real-age limit.' People suffering from congenital eye disorders or infections such as glaucoma or cataracts, which can lead to blindness, would benefit, he said.

Dr So said the research benefits of Deng's other body parts would be limited.

He said Deng's decision to donate himself to medicine was a new 'driving force' behind the campaign to overcome taboos surrounding transplants.



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