TEL AVIV (Nov. 13)
Eliahu Schreier, Israel’s second liver transplant patient, died Thursday at Rambam Hospital in Haifa, 18 days after surgery. His death followed by five days that of the first transplant patient, Mira Schichmanter. Despite the setbacks, Rambam Hospital director Albert Sattinger said the liver transplant operations would continue and the Health Ministry confirmed that Thursday.
Doctors at the hospital said that Schreier, like Schichmanter, succumbed to complications arising from the advanced stages of their liver ailments, not the surgery. Both underwent second operations to correct internal hemhorraging. According to Sattinger, neither patient would have live more than a few days if they hadn’t received transplants.
He stressed that it was impossible to evaluate liver transplants on the basis of only two cases. He noted that the first four liver transplants carried out at Children’s Hospital, in Pittsburgh, Pa., where the technique was developed, also failed to save the patients’ lives, but now there is a 70-80 percent chance of success. Dr. Yigal Kam, who operated on Schreier and Schichmanter, was trained in the procedure at the Pittsburgh hospital.
Sattinger noted further that the Israeli patients applied for transplants only at a late stage of their illness. The family of Schreier, who was 59 and lived in Moshav Shoresh, near Jerusalem, said they were all aware of the risks, but decided they were worthwhile.