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Surgeon dies in fall from building
(China Daily)
Updated: 2004-03-25 01:07

Chen Zhongwei, a specialist in orthopedic and microsurgery who was internationally known as the "Father of Limb Replantation," died on Tuesday after falling from his apartment on the seventh floor, local sources said.

Local police was still investigating the case but the evidence collected so far showed that it was likely an accident, Chen Rongrong, Shanghai Public Security Bureau spokesman, said Wednesday.

Local media reported earlier that the 75-year-old doctor fell down from the building when he was trying to climb cross the aisle windows to enter his apartment that morning after he forgot his keys and cell phone.

And the police investigation also showed that Chen's finger marks were found around the windowsill and Chen's keys and phone were still inside his apartment.

Chen's relatives are set to arrive in Shanghai and an obituary notice will be released in a few days,sources with Shanghai Zhongshan Hospital, where the doctor worked, said.

"A special committee will be established right after Chen's relatives come to Shanghai," said a staffer surnamed Zhang with the hospital's general office.

Zhang told China Daily that the retired doctor came to the hospital just a few days ago and was in good health.

According to local media reports, Chen returned from abroad last month and was living alone.

Shanghai police received an emergency report at around 8:40 am but when police arrived at the spot in downtown Jin'an District, Chen was already dead.

Born in Ningbo, East China's Zhejiang Province in 1929, Chen Zhongwei graduated from Shanghai No 2 Medical University in 1954 and later worked in Zhongshan Hospital as chief expert of research and education council of the hospital's Department of Surgery.

Chen and his colleagues successfully replanted a completely severed right hand in January, 1963.

This was the first report of such a surgery in the world. The practice of limb replacement was established and Chen was praised as the founder of replantation of severed limbs by the international medical community.

Chen was elected an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1980 and was a founding member of the international society of reconstructive microsurgery.

He published more than 130 articles, 33 of which were published in English in international medical journals, according to the hospital.

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