LivingThe first heart transplant between humans

The first heart transplant between humans

In 1967 at the Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa. Christiaan Barnard's team transplanted the heart of a young woman, who had been run over, into 56-year-old Louis Washkansky, who had already suffered three heart attacks.

However, although the intervention passed to posterity as a great milestone, the results were not as expected. Washkansky died within eighteen days of pneumonia , and the vast majority of subsequent attempts failed, mostly due to rejection problems of the implanted organs. In fact, there was a stoppage and during the 70s something like this was hardly tried again.

Doctor Román does not doubt: "The great leap was, again, cyclosporine." Its introduction allowed heart transplants to resume in the early 1980s.

Today, approximately 85% of operated patients survive the first year.

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