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Disgraced surgeon Paolo Macchiarini convicted over experimental trachea surgery

BMJ 2022; 377 doi: (Published 20 June 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;377:o1516
  1. Marta Paterlini
  1. Stockholm

The surgeon Paolo Macchiarini has been convicted of causing bodily harm with an experimental transplant of a synthetic windpipe that he performed.

Macchiariani, 63, was convicted for one of three procedures that he performed on stem cells patients for which he had been charged.1 The indictment was based on three surgical operations that Macchiarini performed between 2011 and 2012 at Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, when he replaced the patients’ tracheas with artificial ones using a plastic tube dipped in patients stem cells.

When the Italian doctor was recruited by Karolinska Institute and the Karolinska University Hospital in 2010, his experimental procedure was seen as a breakthrough in regenerative medicine and made Macchiarini a star until he was accused of fraud and misconduct.2

Together with his colleagues, Macchiarini carried out a total of eight such transplants between 2011 and 2014—three in Sweden and five in Russia. The three patients in Sweden died and four of the five patients in Russia died. Macchiarini was dismissed from the Karolinska Institute in 2016 for breaching medical ethics after being accused …

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