Instructor: Darrin Moir
May 17, 2015
The First heart transplant
The first heart transplant is a curious and interesting topic. Which capture my attention since I heard about it, because it made wonder; how in the word was this possible? Because if you think about it, a heart transplant is a complicated surgery and it also could be a huge risk. Even though it wasn’t easy, the first heart transplant was successful.
The first heart transplant occurred on December 3, 1967 in South Africa. A 53 year old man named Lewis Washkansky received the first human heart transplant at Groote Schuur Hospital. Lewis Washkansky was a South African grocer who was dying from a chronic heart disease. He received the transplant from Denisse Darvall, a 25 year old woman who died in a car accident
Christian Barnard, was the surgeon who performed such a successful medical event. The operation took 9 hours, began at 1 a.m. when surgeons removed the heart of 25 year old Denisse Dravall. After 9 hours the operation was successfully completed. The surgery was success because the heart was “not being simulated by an electrical machine”. (Christian Barnard)
Heart Transplant Procedure.
Patient put on heart lung machine
Old heart is removed
New heart inserted into chest cavity
4 structures connect the new heart to the patient’s arteries and veins. One each for the aorta, pulmonary artery. Left atrium and right atrium. (FutureLearn)
A heart transplant is not considered to be a cure for heart disease, but survival period average 15 years with the implant. However some patients are less suitable for a heart transplant especially if they suffer from other circulatory conditions related to the heart. The following conditions in a patient increase the chances of complications:
Lung or liver disease
Diabetes with other organ dysfunction
High pulmonary vascular resistance.
Age over 60 years
A typical heart transplantation begins when a suitable donor heart is identified. The heart comes from a recently deceased or brain dead donor. For example the donor for the first heart transplant was a dead brain patient. The heart is removed from the donor and it is inspected to see if it is in suitable condition. The patient is given immunosuppressant medication so that the patient’s immune system does not reject the new heart.
The operation begins with an opening on the chest and exposing the “mediastinum”. The donor’s heart is injected with potassium chloride. Potassium stops the heart besting before the heart is removed from the donor’s body and packed…