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Health Highlights: June 11, 2013

Health Highlights: June 11, 2013

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

Mandela Remains in Serious but Stable Condition

Former South African President Nelson Mandela remains in serious but stable condition in hospital, the government said in an update released Monday evening.

The 94-year-old anti-apartheid hero is spending his fourth day in a Pretoria hospital for treatment of a recurrent lung infection. He has been in intensive care since he was admitted to hospital on Saturday, BBC News reported.

It's the third time this year that Mandela has been admitted to hospital. And last December, he spent 18 days receiving treatment for a lung infection and gallstones.

There are indications that Mandela's family may have started to gather at his bedside, BBC News reported. His eldest daughter, Zenani Mandela-Dlamini, returned to South Africa from Argentina, where she is the ambassador, to visit her father, and wife Graca Machel cancelled a scheduled appearance in London on Saturday to remain at her husband's bedside.

Other visitors have included Mandela's ex-wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, and his granddaughters.

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Transplant Network Creates Appeal/Review System for Young Lung Patients

A special appeal and review system for children under age 12 on the U.S. lung transplant waiting list was announced Monday by the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, but the group decided not to make emergency rule changes for this group of patients.

The teleconference was triggered by the cases of two children -- a 10-year-old girl and an 11-year-old boy -- who have end-stage cystic fibrosis and are waiting for lung transplants, the Associated Press reported.

The children's families challenged a national policy that requires patients under 12 to wait for lungs from children or to be given lungs from adults only after the lungs have first been offered to all teens and adults on the waiting list. Last week, a federal judge ruled that the two children should be eligible for adult lungs.

While trying to acknowledge the concerns raised by the judge, the transplant network was also sending a message with its decision Monday, according to a transplant ethics expert.

"I think what they're trying to tell the judge is, 'We have a system. It's working. Let us decide, not you,'" Dr. Arthur Caplan, a bioethicist at New York University Langone Medical Center, told the AP.

 
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