Flurry Of Human Heart Transplants
After the first human heart transplant in late 1967 by South African cardiac surgeon Dr. Christiaan Barnard, 1968 saw a flurry of such operations at several medical centers around the world. During the first peak, 21 human heart transplants were performed in the six months between December 1967 and June 1968, and another 84 by the end of 1968. The worlds second human heart transplant occurred on this date in 1968, when Barnard transplanted the heart of Clive Haupt, a young man whod collapsed and died on a Cape Town beach on New Years Day 1968, into Philip Blaiberg, a 50-year-old South African dentist. Blaiberg survived for 19 months, far longer than the 18-day postoperative survival of previous human heart recipient Louis Washkansky. (Barnard performed the first human heart transplant on Dec. 3, 1967.) More than a year and a half later, Blaiberg died of chronic organ rejection. Human heart transplantation tapered off during the 1970s because the procedures cumulative one-year survival rate of 22 percent, in researchers eyes, was too low. Since then, that rate has increased to 85 percent at most hospital centers. The 10-year post-transplant rate is now close to 45 percent.
Copyright Aetna InteliHealth, Inc., 2013. All rights reserved.