Nov 12, 2008
Some interesting Facts
Speaking with the doctors at the hospital and surfing the net we have come across a lot of interesting information on heart transplantation. Here are some things we have found out:
1964 - First transplant: A chimpanzee heart beat in a human body for 70 minutes.
1967 - The first human to human transplant, the man died from pneumonia 18 days later.
1984 - First successful heart transplant in a toddler: Two year old Elizabeth Craze became the youngest surviving heart transplant patient. (That is only 24 yrs of history and data!)
1995 - the first successful INFANT transplant happened at Loma Linda University. Eddie was just 4 days old.
In February of 1986 the second infant survived transplant there at the age of 10 days. It's an amazing story. There's a great article about them http://www.pe.com/localnews/rivcounty/stories/PE_News
1995 - The first year they were performing heart transplants for small children at Seattle Childrens. (That is only 13 yrs ago!)
As of the end of 2007, Tony Huesman is the world's longest living heart transplant patient, having survived for 29 yrs with a transplanted heart.
22 years after transplant, Dwight Kroening is the first heart recipient to finish an ironman competition. (We won't be encouraging Mia to do the ironman, but still you have to admit that is cool.)
There was actually a period of time in the 70's when research in the field slowed due to continued rejection. The improved life expectancy of patients after heart transplant is largely due to immunosuppressive drugs, which reduce the body's tendency to reject the new organ. This will be our main concern with Mia. We will need to watch her closely, as rejection can oft times be reversed. It is also not unheard of for a person to have a second heart transplant if failure occurs in a heart patient.
the first successful INFANT transplant was in 1985 at Loma Linda University. Eddie was just 4 days old. In February of 1986 the second infant survived transplant there at the age of 10 days. It's an amazing story. There's a great article about them http://www.pe.com/localnews/rivcounty/stories/PE_News
There were 2,192 heart transplants performed in the US in 2006, and 2,125 in 2005.
Each year, thousands more adults would benefit from a heart transplant if more donated hearts were available.
In the US, 74% of heart transplant patients are male (whoa.); 68% are white; 20%are ages 35-49 and 55% are ages 50-64.
Survival Rate: As of June 2007, the one-year survival rate was 85% for females; the three year survival rate was about 76%, and the five-year survival rate was 67%. Our docs have said that these have already improved. That is what is so encouraging about these numbers. They are old numbers. There is not enough history to go on for say a 25 yr expectancy, because 25 yrs ago, they didn't have near the knowledge they do today. The data that is being used to determine the 5 yr expectancy is 5 yrs old. There is new data today, and this Field is continually learning.
Currently over 95,000 men, women and children await life-saving organ transplant (heart, lung, pancreas, kidneys, liver and intestines).
Every organ and tissue donor can save and enhance the lives of up to 50 people.
Green is the official organ donation awareness color- Go green.
The actual transplant - what I thought was fascinating:
1. Is the entire heart transplanted? No. When I thought of a heart transplant, I thought of the docs putting in a heart, and connecting the tubular arteries, not unlike installing a new radiator. In fact, this is not so in the text book transplant. The back walls of the left and right atria will stay in the recipients body. You could say that it isn't an entire (intact) heart that is received. So, the surgeon actually cuts away the front part of the heart, leaving the back. Pretty wild.
2. How do they stop the heart? By injecting a chemical solution into the heart.
3. How do they fuse the breastbone? With steel wire. (Mimi has had staples for her surgeries though.)
4. How do they start the newly implanted heart? I pictured two wires touching the heart and giving it a shock. Not so. Warm blood begins to flow through the heart (by aid of the heart lung machine) and the warmth of the blood should "wake up" the heart and stimulate it to start beating. If this does not occur, it may be necessary to start the heart using an electric shock (defibrillation). Once the blood is flowing through the new heart normally and without any leaks, the heart-lung machine is disconnected and the chest incision is closed
5. Do they always close the chest after heart transplant. No. It is actually uncommon to close the chest in an infant, due to swelling and the need to leave room for expansion. In an adult they do close the chest. Mia had extra room in her chest cavity due to the large nature of her native heart, and therefor avoided a followup surgery by having her chest wired shut after transplantation.
Doesn't that blow your mind!?
I thank God for revealing his wisdom to mankind. Truly those that worked on Mia provided a miracle. Just wait until you see her chest thumping with that new heart inside.
Posted crazily by John Boy at 9:15 PM