For the first time, a pig’s heart beats in a person’s chest, yet doctors ask for caution
A great feat was accomplished in a Baltimore hospital and it is that for the first time, the heart of a pig it beats in a person’s chest.
The patient, identified as David Bennett, became the first person to receive a pig heart transplant genetically modified.
According to the doctors, Bennett was not a possible candidate for a conventional heart transplant or an artificial heart.
“It was either dying or doing this transplant. I want to live. I know there is one option in a billion, but it is my last option, ”explained the patient.
According to the doctors, it was the only alternative to save the life of the 57-year-old American. But it remains to be seen what their long-term chances of survival will be.
AFP noted that the pig heart was genetically modified to remove a gene that produces a sugar that triggers an immune response in humans.
“This organ transplant demonstrated for the first time that a genetically modified animal heart can function like a human heart without being immediately rejected by the body.”
In order to perform the operation, the doctors at the University of Maryland Medical Center had to request special permission from the United States health authorities.
Breakthrough in meeting the demand for transplants
The transplant of pig heart Genetically modified is a great advance, however doctors have asked to be cautious because for now this type of transplant will take time to reach the operating rooms.
Surgeon Bartley Griffith said this operation would bring the world “one step closer to solving the organ shortage crisis.”
“The possibility of using animal organs to satisfy human demand – a process called xenotransplantation – has long been considered and the use of pig heart valves is already common.”
In October of last year a group of surgeons in New York announced that they had successfully transplanted a pig kidney into a person.
However, the recipient on that occasion was a brain-dead patient who had no hope of recovery.
So far all xenotransplants of this type that have been performed have been a failure. So it is hoped that this time it will be successful.