Family blames Hacettepe for death of transplant patient

April 17, 2012, Tuesday/ 12:09:00/ İLYAS KOÇ

Hacettepe University Hospital last week came into the spotlight once again as a 16-year-old boy died a day after he received the transplanted heart of a 33-year-old man.

The boy's family will apply to the Health Ministry for an investigation.

Samet Çiftçi, a cardiac patient, had been receiving treatment for the past three months at Ankara's Hacettepe University Hospital. Doctors said they would conduct a heart transplant when they find a suitable heart, Çiftçi's uncle, Mehmet Selim Çiftçi, said.

Last week Çiftçi received the heart of a 33-year-old man who was declared brain dead in the western province of Balıkesir. Çiftçi's uncle said a team led by Prof. İlhan Paşaoğlu performed the transplant operation, which lasted around 10 hours. Çiftçi underwent another operation two hours later when he experienced excessive bleeding, the uncle said, adding that this operation lasted 12 hours. A day after the surgeries Çiftçi died.

His family claimed that Çiftçi died because the man whose heart the boy received was twice his age. The family said they would apply to the Health Ministry for an investigation into the case.

The Health Ministry last month revoked Hacettepe University Hospital's license to carry out composite tissue transplantation operations following the death of Şevket Çavdar, who died three days after undergoing a quadruple-limb transplant at the hospital in February.

Çavdar's death sparked a heated discussion on the ethics of transplants and much controversy over whether or not his death could have been avoided.

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