Dacron, Plastic and a Sewing Machine
On this date in 1969, noted physician Michael E. DeBakey implanted the world's first completely artificial heart in a patient at Houston's Baylor University. The heart was made of Dacron and plastic and its recipient lived four days. Years earlier, in 1953, DeBakey had first developed artificial arteries made of Dacron, using a sewing machine to stitch them together. He performed 12 heart transplants in the late 1960s. In 1968, he oversaw the first organ transplants involving more than one organ; a heart, two kidneys and a lung from a single donor were transplanted into four separate recipients.
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