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Shenzhen man gets a life-saving skin graft from the most unique of locations

Posted: 04/1/2013 2:00 pm

When somebody suffers severe burns on large portions of their body, it’s important to do a skin graft as quickly as possible.  Serious burns can lead to organ failure.

That was the case for one man in Shenzhen, named Yang Qinjie.  He was severely burned in an accidental dust explosion in October last year.  The burns were so bad, doctors said it covered 98% of his body.  As such, he was in serious need of a skin graft, according to media reports.

Doctor Xie Lihua at Shenzhen Number Two People Hospital found there were only two places on Yang’s body that had escaped serious burns: his scalp, and his penis.

Xie, of course, turned to the scalp first. He scissored some of the skin and soaked it in salt water. Only 1% of skin can cover 10% of the burned area. Furthermore, the skin can easily expand evenly. But it turned out using his scalp was not enough, so Doctor Xie finally sought the last straw –Yang’s penis.

Comparatively speaking, skin on the penis does not recover as fast as the skin on the scalp. Thus, it can only be taken bit by bit.  Fortuntately, it is said that skin in Yang’s most burned areas has grown well and he’ll be able to leave the hospital next month.

“This is a medical miracle,” President Cai Zhiming of Shenzhen Number Two People Hospital said. “The patient was burned over 98% of his body, but still survived. This is a rare case in medical history in China.” The hosipital has taken Yang’s blood sample and secretion specimens to study the changes in his immune system in order to try and duplicate the process on other patients. They also are hoping to build a Burn Research Institute to deal with more cases.

  • Ray

    Very horrible, on so many levels. Its good that he survived and for science and everything, and I hate to say it but the question must be asked. Has he been interviewed since the operation to say whether its worth it to live?

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