Man with a pig heart – level 3
For the first time in history, doctors transplanted a pig’s heart into a human.
The patient was 57-year-old David Bennet from Maryland, US. He was too sick for a human heart, so doctors at the University of Maryland School of Medicine used a modified pig heart in a last-ditch effort to save the man’s life.
Earlier attempts at such a transplant failed; however, Bennet was doing well, and Friday’s surgery showed for the first time that a modified animal heart could work in the human body without immediate problems. The seven-hour surgery was a major step in using animal organs for life-saving transplants; however, it’s too soon to say if the operation will work, and the man’s long-term chances of survival.
A US medical authority gave the doctors a special dispensation to perform the procedure, with the reason, that Bennet had a fatal heart disease, and he would have died otherwise.
Difficult words: transplant (to move a body organ from one living thing to another thing; the medical operation to move body organs); last-ditch effort (a final attempt to do something after many other attempts failed), dispensation (special permission to do something).
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