Friday, December 03, 2004

Can't pass up "This day in history" ...

First human heart transplant - 1967
In 1967, in Cape Town, South Africa, Dr. Christiaan Barnard, with his team of 20 surgeons, performed the first human heart transplant on a South African businessman, 54-yr-old Louis Washkansky. At the Groote Schuur Hospital, his diseased heart was replaced with the healthy heart of a 25-year old woman who had died in a car crash. Washkansky lasted only 18 days before succumbing to double pneumonia, contracted after destruction of his body's immunity mechanism by drugs administered to suppress rejection of the new heart as a foreign protein.However, the next patient, Philip Blaiberg, lived for nearly two years. Since then, many thousands of human heart transplants have been performed.

First permanent artifical heart - 1982
In 1982, doctors at the University of Utah Medical Center removed the respirator of Barney Clark, one day after the retired dentist became the world's first recipient of a permanent artificial heart, the Jarvik-7. Surgery was performed by Dr. William DeVries in cooperation with the inventor, Dr. Robert Jarvik. Clark had actually visited the veterinary laboratory at the University of Utah and watched calves that had received the artificial hearts. Near death, with his own heart practically useless, Clark agreed to the experiment. He said, "It may not work that well for me. I'll do it for the next patient." He lived 112 days on the artificial heart. Of the next four implants, the longest survivor was William Schroeder, who lived 620 days. Image: Clark and DeVries.

You think this was planned?

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