This is the second patient to undego such a procedure

Medics transplant pig heart into dying man

• The first patient ever died while the 2nd patient's procedure has been successful.


A second pig heart transplant has been performed on a dying man. The surgery was conducted by the same team of medics who performed a similar procedure earlier this year.

The man was ineligible for a traditional heart transplant. The medics from the University of Maryland Medical Center announced Friday Sep 22 that, for only the second time in history, it had transplanted a heart from a genetically engineered pig into a human.

The surgeons performed the eight-hour procedure Wednesday without complications. As of Friday afternoon, the organ recipient, a 58-year-old Navy veteran and former vaccine researcher at the National Institutes of Health named Lawrence Faucette, is awake, able to sit in a chair and breathe on his own, and his new heart is pumping without help from supportive devices, hospital officials said in a statement.

Faucette, who lives in Frederick, Md., was admitted to UMMC on Sept. 14, after experiencing heart failure. He was deemed ineligible for a traditional heart transplant because of his preexisting peripheral vascular disease and complications with internal bleeding.

Having survived the first 48 hours with no signs of hyper-acute immune rejection, his doctors are now monitoring him closely for hints of abnormal heart activity, evidence of infection, or signs that Faucette’s body is no longer tolerating the transplanted organ.

Last year, the same medical team performed the first such procedure on a 57-year-old patient named David Bennett. For the first 40 days, Bennett — who had terminal heart failure and was too sick to qualify for a human heart transplant or mechanical assist device — seemed to be recovering. But then he took a turn for the worse and died not long after.

Source APNews, Forbes, New York Times

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