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Jewish Hospital Hand Transplant Recipient Experiences Setback

Dr. Richard “Rich” Edwards, the Oklahoma chiropractor who became the nation’s third double hand transplant recipient following surgery at Jewish Hospital August 24-25, was back in the intensive care unit this past week after blood clots that developed in his right hand led to additional surgery on Wednesday, September 8. No definitive cause for the issue was determined.

Edwards’ left hand continues to show improvement. He can move his wrist and each finger and can make a nearly full fist. He continues to undergo physical therapy on his left hand, but will not have therapy on his right hand for approximately two weeks to allow for healing of vessels repaired in the most recent surgery. Lead hand surgeon Warren Breidenbach notes complications of this sort more than two weeks post-surgery are unusual.

“Unfortunately, this episode may downgrade the results with his right hand because of stopping therapy and the increased possibilities for scarring,” he said. “However, I still think he’ll have better results than any patient to date.”

The patient was moved out of the Intensive Care Unit on Tuesday, September 14.

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