This hospital is one of the largest comprehensive hospitals in Zhejiang Province. It has 2,680 beds. Its staff includes over 506 staff with senior professional titles and 156 PhDs and postdoctoral fellows. The hospital has a Zhejiang Provincial Organ Transplantation Key Research Lab (Heart Transplantation Branch).159
Its cardiothoracic surgery department pioneered heart transplantation in Zhejiang Province. Its kidney and combined heart- kidney transplantation performance is in a leading position in China. The hospital has also started performing kidney, umbilical cord blood, bone marrow, corneal, and other types of transplants. Its bone marrow and cornea transplantation performance also plays a leading role in Zhejiang Province.160
Yan Zhikun, director of the cardiothoracic surgery department and “head of cardiothoracic surgery in Zhejiang Province,” receives special government allowances from the State Council. A video on the hospital’s website shows that he performed the province’s first heart transplant in June 1997 and first combined heart-kidney transplant in 2001. He established the Heart Centre in 2002, and has completed more than 5,000 heart surgeries of various types.161
Heart transplantation is one of Yan’s areas of focus. In 1996, he established the Zhejiang Organ Transplantation Key Laboratory Heart Transplant Branch, which has expanded to 1,000 square meters and completed more than 20 national and provincial research projects. Its project on “Homologous combined heart and kidney transplantation” received a first prize award from the Ministry of Health in 2002. He has published over 100 articles and edited the book Heart, Lung, and Related Multiple-Organ Transplantation.162
The hospital has deleted almost all information about its transplant-related activities online.
However, Yan’s papers show that, between June 1997 and June 2002, the hospital performed 12 orthotopic heart allografts, including a combined heart-kidney transplant.163 The hospital’s website states that it has carried out a total of 19 heart transplants.164 In the 14 years in which its heart transplant laboratory has continuously expanded, it is unlikely that the hospital has performed only 19 transplants.
From news reports, we have found that Xiao Jiaquan, a renowned kidney transplant expert in Zhejiang Province and formerly director of this hospital’s urologic surgery department, has become the current director of the kidney transplant centre at the Second Affiliated Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine, and had continued to perform kidney transplants on a large scale.165
On December 31, 2015, the Second Affiliated Hospital’s transplant team performed 8 transplant surgeries in 12 hours, from 8am to 8pm. These included 2 liver, 2 heart, and 4 kidney transplants.166 On March 10, 2016, Xiao led the transplant team to carry out 7 transplant surgeries within 16 hours, including 2 liver, 1 heart, and 4 kidney transplants.167 Considering this hospital is not a designated transplant centre, we wonder how many transplants have been conducted by the licensed Third Affiliated Hospital.
A Korean patient, who underwent a transplant operation in the hospital on June 3, 2006, disclosed that the hospital treated patients from all over the world. He saw Caucasians, blacks, Koreans, Japanese, etc. He stated that organs used for transplantation were obtained from prisons by doctors in military uniforms.168
The hospital hosts the Zhejiang Province Eye Bank. It has improved the corneal procurement, preservation, and distribution system. It can carry out corneal transplants using its recently acquired femtosecond laser.169