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Israel’s First Liver Transplant Patient Dies of Complications

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Mira Schichmanter, Israel’s first liver transplant patient, died shortly before dawn Saturday of complications that followed surgery 17 days ago at Rambam Hospital in Haifa. A mother of two from Kfar Saba, she had her 40th birthday in her hospital bed last week, surrounded by her family who were with her at the time of death.

Doctors said her death was not caused by the operation, which was successful, but by massive internal hemhorraging related to the liver ailment she had suffered for years, which had made the transplant necessary. She had been recovering up to five days after surgery and was about to be released from the intensive care unit when she began to bleed and a second operation was performed.

A Rambam Hospital spokesman said Sunday it would continue with liver transplants approved by the Health Ministry and was not discouraged. Doctors noted that the first liver transplants in the U.S., where the technique was developed, had a high mortality rate at first but chances for recovery now are much improved.

Meanwhile, the second liver transplant patient, Eliahu Schreier, 59, remained in critical condition at Rambam Hospital. He underwent surgery several days after Schichmanter and also had to undergo a second operation for internal bleeding.

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