HCMC’s first adult liver transplant patient dies

The first-ever adult liver transplant recipient in Ho Chi Minh City has died, more than two months after the remarkable surgery.

Doctors at Cho Ray Hospital in HCMC performed the city's first ever liver transplant on an adult in October 12.  The patient died on December 20.

Doctors at Cho Ray Hospital in HCMC performed the city's first ever liver transplant on an adult in October 12. The patient died on December 20.

Cung Thi Kim Dinh, 53, died December 20 after suffering from bleeding in her digestive tracts, according to officials from HCMC’s Cho Ray Hospital, where the transplant was undertaken in collaboration with South Korean-owned ASAN Medical Center.

The hospital’s representative said Dinh started bleeding “massively” on December 11, but that doctors managed to temporarily stop it.

However, since then her condition got worse and she died, despite treatments from Korean doctors assigned by the ASAN Medical Center to Vietnam to help, the representative said.

It is not known yet if the bleeding was related to the transplant, which took place on October 12.

The woman was said to have been recovering well from the surgery in which Dinh received her son’s liver – her liver functioned normally; she ate and drank normally and was gaining weight. Dinh suffered liver problems since 2004 and had received regular treatments at Cho Ray Hospital.

Her 22-year-old son was also reported to do well after donating 65 percent of his liver – the highest ratio allowed by current technology to his mother.

The surgery, performed at the cost of more than VND1 billion (US$48,000) paid by the hospital and the Health Ministry, had been expected to mark the start of liver transplant’s development in the city and give hopes to many patients with severe liver conditions.

There have been 17 children to receive liver transplants at the National Hospital of Pediatrics in Hanoi and the Children’s Hospital No.2 in Ho Chi Minh City; six adults have received transplants at Hospital 103 and the Vietnam-Germany Hospital in Hanoi.

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