When was the first heart transplant done?

In 1967, a human heart from one person was transplanted into the body of another by a South African surgeon named Dr. Christiaan Barnard in Cape Town, South Africa. In early December, Dr. Barnard's surgical team removed the heart of a 25-year-old woman who had died following an auto accident and placed it in the chest of Louis Washkansky, a 55-year-old man dying of heart damage. The patient survived for 18 days. Dr. Barnard had learned much of his technique from studying with the Stanford group.

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Heart Transplant

Diseased hearts can be replaced during a heart transplant, a measure taken to help save a persons life after other treatments have failed.If you have end-stage heart failure, which has severely weakened or damaged your heart, you ...

most likely will need a heart transplant. However, because so few hearts are available, you must be sick enough to need a new heart but healthy enough to survive the surgery. In the U.S., only about 2,000 hearts are available each year, while there are 3,000 people waiting for a new heart. While you wait for a new heart, your doctor may insert a ventricular assist device (VAD) to help your heart continue to function. Once you have the transplant, you will need to take medications to suppress your immune system, so it doesnt attack your new heart. A team of doctors will monitor if your body accepts the new heart. The team will also look out for any infections that you may develop because of a suppressed immune system.
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