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50 YEARS SINCE FIRST SUCCESSFUL HEART TRANSPLANT

50 YEARS SINCE FIRST SUCCESSFUL HEART TRANSPLANT

On December 3, 1966, in South Africa, Dr. Christiaan Barnard completed the first successful heart transplant in history.

On December 3, 1966, in Cape Town's GrooteSchuur Hospital, a medical team of more than twenty under the direction of Dr. Christiaan Barnard completed the first human heart transplant in history. The recipient was Louis Washkansky, who survived around twenty days before he fell victim to pneumonia. On January 2, 1968, the second heart transplant was completed, this time with greater success, in which the recipient lived 563 days after the surgery. All of the team's medical efforts were made possible by the solidarity and donation of two people who had died, Denise Darvall and Clive Haupt, the donors of the first transplanted hearts.

These days, the survival of patients is measured in years. According to the records of the World Transplant Registry, more than 6,000 operations are carried out annually, more than 250 of those surgeries in our country.

In Spain, the survival rates after surgery are very high. Some 85% of patients survive the first year after surgery, 72% five years and 60% survive a decade after receiving their heart transplant.

The record for longest survival after a heart transplant is 33 years, held by John McCafferty, who died at the age of 73 after suffering kidney failure.

The life expectancy of a patient who undergoes this operation is around 12 years after the operation. More than 90% of transplant recipients successfully accept the graft of their new heart, but to have a normal lifespan, they must control their risk factors.