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MTF, Largest Tissue Bank, Donates Skin to Mexican Burn Victim
Date:9/24/2008

COSTA MESA, Calif., Sept. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Humanitarian efforts by several Mexican organizations and the world's largest tissue bank resulted in a potentially life-saving procedure for a severely burned man from Juarez last month.

Edgar Ivan Cardenas Ordaz, 21, suffered second and third degree burns over 80% of his body in a house fire in August. He was transferred from a local hospital to the burn unit at the Chihuahua General Hospital. Doctors there, recognizing his severe condition, recommended use of human skin to cover the burns, thus reducing the risk of infection and loss of fluids which endangered his life. The Mexican government requested and received three square meters of skin at no cost from the Musculoskeletal Transplant Foundation (MTF).

The prognosis for Mr. Ordaz was originally dire, due to the extent of his burns. Doctors gave him less than a 30 percent chance to live. But the use of human skin seems to have given the young man a fighting chance at survival. A month after being admitted, Mr. Ordaz remains in serious condition, but shows positive signs such as eating and breathing without mechanical support.

MTF responded quickly when the request came from the Mexican government. After receiving necessary international clearances, the skin was sent from the United States to Mexico, with the help of a courier from the Mexican Red Cross. The MTF donation is the first time donated human skin has been used for treatment at this hospital. The doctors believe that MTF's generosity is responsible for keeping Mr. Ordaz alive.

"We were delighted to help our friends in Mexico with this donation," said MTF Vice President George Herrera. "There are many advantages to using human skin for burn victims, and we hope this will help Mr. Ordaz achieve a full recovery. MTF has a commitment to caring for donors and recipients, and changing lives. We are happy to play a role in helping this patient."

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