The first man to walk with a pig’s heart beating inside him has died. He has already made history

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David Bennett died on tuesday spent at the University of Maryland Medical Center. He was American, 57 years old and the exact cause of death has not been given. The doctors only explained that his health condition had begun to deteriorate several days before. But that has been enough for the entire biomedical world to turn their heads towards that small hospital north of Washington DF.

And is that Bennett was the first person to receive a pig’s heart.

What happened? As I say, the details of the death have not yet transpired and will be subjected to a detailed analysis to advance the development of xenotransplantation. However, what is interesting is that, despite the danger of the operation (remember that the FDA only allowed it under the rules of “compassionate use” given the imminence of the patient’s death), the results have been quite positive. Not only has Bennett been given more time to be with her family (a few weeks ago they posted a video watching the Superbowl), but she has far exceeded the 21 days she survived. Baby Faethe dying baby who had a baboon heart transplanted in 1984.

In fact, during these months, the news from the hospital was that the pig’s heart was working properly and Bennett seemed to be slowly recovering. In recent days, however, the situation worsened until the final outcome. And, as I say, it’s already a lot. The vast majority of xenotransplantations of this type that have been performed in the past have failed rapidly because the patients rejected the animal organs.

gene edited pigs The key in this case had been the genetic editing of the pigs to eliminate the molecules that cause this rejection. It is the same logic that they followed at the end of 2021 at NYU Langone Health in New York City by successfully transplanting a kidney into a human being.

We are already transplanting organs from gene-edited pigs into monkeys: a key step for the future of transplants

Knowing how to save lives and not being able to do it The world of transplants is a desperate world: we have the technical capacity to save tens of thousands of lives each year and to improve many others, but we cannot do it. We have no organs available. Therefore, the need to find alternative sources is one of the obsessions of modern medicine. And little by little we are taking steps in that direction. And experiments like this are the best example because, despite the death of David Bennett, his name will forever be in the history books as the first man to walk with a pig’s heart beating inside him.

David Bennett died on tuesday spent at the University of Maryland Medical Center. He was American, 57 years old and…

David Bennett died on tuesday spent at the University of Maryland Medical Center. He was American, 57 years old and…

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