The university emphasizes that the operation carried out on Friday proved that animal heart it can continue to function in man without immediate rejection.
David Bennett, 57, who received a pig heart, was previously declared ineligible for a human heart transplant. He is now closely monitored by doctors and is still connected to an artificial heart-lung machine that supports his new organ.
Either death or this transplant. I want to live. I know this is quite a peculiar case, but this was my last chance. I can’t wait to be able to get out of bed when I recover
– said a Maryland resident the day before the operation.
Bennett had been bedridden for the past few months and hooked up to the machine that kept him alive.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave the green light for surgery on the last day of the past year.
A breakthrough in surgery
This is a major breakthrough in surgery and brings us one step closer to solving the problem of organ shortage.
– commented Bartley Griffith, who performed the transplant.
The AP agency recalls that last year just over 3,800 were carried out in the US heart transplantswhich is a record number, but the biggest problem is the shortage of human organs for transplantation.
If this works, we will have an endless supply of these organs to patients in need.
said Dr. Muhammad Mohiuddin, scientific director of the transplant program at the University of Maryland.
Doctors explained that the pig from which the heart comes has been genetically modified so that it does not produce the sugar that is normally found in all of these animals’ cells and that causes immediate rejection of the organ by humans.
Almost 110,000 Americans are now on the waiting list for organ transplants, and more than 6,000 people who need an organ transplant die each year.
Source: niezalezna.pl, PAP