Maryland Medical Center performed the first successful pig heart transplant
David Bennett is a 57-year-old male who resides in Maryland and works as a handyman. He was diagnosed with terminal heart disease and was not eligible for a heart transplant. Due to the limited number of donor hearts in the country, UNOS must match patients who have the greatest likelihood of surviving long-term. Unfortunately, David Bennett was not a candidate for a heart transplant based on his current medical condition.
David had two options. His first option was to deny an experimental transplant and eventually die from terminal heart disease. His second option was to take a leap of faith and become the first patient in the world to receive a genetically modified pig heart.
David Bennett wanted to live, so he took the second option. This past Friday, the University of Maryland Medical Center performed the first successful surgery of a pig heart transplant on David. This past Monday, David was able to breath on his own and continues to recover. Although the surgery was successful, David is still being closely monitored and remains at risk of organ rejection.
Overall, this surgery is groundbreaking because it demonstrates the possibility of using genetically modified animal organs for humans. If this surgery remains a success, the transplant field could drastically change; the use of genetically modified animal organs would greatly decrease costs and increase accessibility.
Stay tuned for more updates!
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