Pig hearts for people – level 2
One year ago, American David Bennett became the first person who received a pig’s heart. Bennett was very ill, and the surgery was the only thing which could save his life.
At first, the man was doing well and the doctors were excited. But Bennett’s condition quickly changed and his heart was swelling. The man died 60 days after the surgery. It took almost one year to find out why the surgery wasn’t successful. Experts found out that the heart was infected with a pig virus. The tests, which they did before the surgery, didn’t detect the virus.
Since the surgery, experts developed more sensitive tests. Experts are also studying monkeys with pig heart transplants. They want to learn more about immune-suppressing drugs. These drugs reduce the activation of a patient’s immune system, which helps the body accept the transplant.
Difficult words: condition (a state of something), transplant (an organ which doctors take from a body and implant it in another body), immune system (biological processes which help the body fight infections and diseases).
You can watch the original video in the Level 3 section.
Do you think that the doctors were at fault for not detecting the virus? Why or why not?
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