centered image

centered image

Man Gets Genetically-Modified Pig Heart In World-First Transplant

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Mahmoud Abudeif, Jan 12, 2022.

  1. Mahmoud Abudeif

    Mahmoud Abudeif Golden Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2019
    Messages:
    6,494
    Likes Received:
    37
    Trophy Points:
    12,275
    Gender:
    Male
    Practicing medicine in:
    Egypt

    A US man has become the first person in the world to get a heart transplant from a genetically-modified pig.

    [​IMG]

    David Bennett, 57, is doing well three days after the experimental seven-hour procedure in Baltimore, doctors say.

    The transplant was considered the last hope of saving Mr Bennett's life, though it is not yet clear what his long-term chances of survival are.

    "It was either die or do this transplant," Mr Bennett explained a day before the surgery.

    "I know it's a shot in the dark, but it's my last choice," he said.

    Doctors at the University of Maryland Medical Center were granted a special dispensation by the US medical regulator to carry out the procedure, on the basis that Mr Bennett - who has terminal heart disease - would otherwise have died.

    [​IMG]
    A glimmer of hope alongside huge risks


    This watershed moment provides hope of a solution to the chronic shortage of donor human organs. But there is still a long way to go to determine whether giving people animal organs is the way forward. Pig hearts are anatomically similar to human hearts but, understandably, not identical. It's not ideal, compared to swapping in a human donor heart. But it is possible to plumb them in and get them working.

    The bigger issue is organ rejection. These pigs are bred to lack genes that can cause rejection. They are cloned with certain genes "knocked out" and reared until they reach an age where their organs are big enough to be harvested for transplantation.

    It is too soon to know how Mr Bennett will fare with his pig heart. His doctors were clear that the surgery was a gamble. The risks are huge, but so are the potential gains.

    Mr Bennett, however, is hoping his transplant will allow him to continue with his life. He was bedridden for six weeks leading up to the surgery, and attached to a machine which kept him alive after he was diagnosed with terminal heart disease.

    "I look forward to getting out of bed after I recover," he said last week.

    On Monday, Mr Bennett was reported to be breathing on his own while being carefully monitored.

    But exactly what will happen next is unclear.

    Mr Griffith said they were proceeding cautiously and carefully monitoring Mr Bennett, while his son David Bennett Jr told the Associated Press that the family were "in the unknown at this point".

    But he added: "He realises the magnitude of what was done and he really realises the importance of it."

    "We've never done this in a human and I like to think that we, we have given him a better option than what continuing his therapy would have been," Mr Griffith said. "But whether [he will live for] a day, week, month, year, I don't know."

    Source
     

    Add Reply

Share This Page

<