US Surgeons Transplant Pig Heart Into Human Patient

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AP:– In a medical first, doctors transplanted a pig heart into a patient in a last-ditch effort to save his life and a Maryland hospital said Monday that he’s doing well three days after the highly experimental surgery.

While it’s too soon to know if the operation really will work, it marks a step in the decades-long quest to one day use animal organs for life-saving transplants. Doctors at the University of Maryland Medical Center say the transplant showed that a heart from a genetically modified animal can function in the human body without immediate rejection.

The patient, David Bennett, a 57-year-old Maryland handyman, knew there was no guarantee the experiment would work but he was dying, ineligible for a human heart transplant and had no other option, his son told The Associated Press.

“It was either die or do this transplant. I want to live. I know it’s a shot in the dark, but it’s my last choice,” Bennett said a day before the surgery, according to a statement provided by the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

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On Monday, Bennett was breathing on his own while still connected to a heart-lung machine to help his new heart. The next few weeks will be critical as Bennett recovers from the surgery and doctors carefully monitor how his heart is faring.

There’s a huge shortage of human organs donated for transplant, driving scientists to try to figure out how to use animal organs instead.

Last year, there were just over 3,800 heart transplants in the U.S., a record number, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing, which oversees the nation’s transplant system.

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.


  1. @Marks…you highlight a very endemic attitude of many who comment on this forum…and by extension the level of critical thinking or the lack of it, that exist in Saint Lucia..and such attitudes by those quick to criticize such innovation has major consequences for a nation’s advancement…maybe no wonder we lag behind most of the world in science and innovation.this critical break through has the potential to save the lives of many…long live science and it’s potential to rid a society of ignorance and bigotry….

  2. What about the fact that a man’s life has been saved or at least extended much to the joy and gratitude of him and his family. Sometimes people criticize blindly and myopically without constructive analysis, probative thought or empathy. Although they may deny it, they would probably choose that same option to extend their lives if they were in a similar situation. We apparently see more value or appreciation in roasting a pig’s heart for an exotic meal rather than using it to save a dying persons life.

  3. Unbelievable 😱human/animal, no distinction. We so desperate we have to resort to using animals organs inside us.

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