May 26, 2022

Raven Tribune

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Possible cause of death: The recipient of swine heart had the swine virus

Possible cause of death
The person who got the pig heart had the swine virus

This is considered a major turning point in the field of organ transplantation: in January, for the first time in the United States, a patient was fitted with a pig heart. The person died a few months after surgery. Doctors have now announced that it may be due to an infection caused by the swine virus.

After the death of the first person to receive a pig heart, doctors announced that the man had been diagnosed with the swine virus. Surgeon Bartley Griffith told the New York Times that it was unclear whether the virus was directly responsible for the 57-year-old’s death in March. There was no harm to the patient as it was silent. The “USA Today” newspaper quoted another doctor who runs the University of Maryland as saying that the virus may have been one of the many factors that eventually led to death.

In early January, David Bennett, 57, became the world’s first patient to have a pig heart transplanted. After surgery, the condition of the critically ill person is initially relatively stable.

The hospital declared the heart “worked well” and showed no signs of rejection. It said the patient was “better than expected” and “significantly awake”. The person was able to spend time with his family and did physiotherapy. However, for more than a month, his health deteriorated rapidly. The person died in early March.

Transplanting animal organs into humans, which has been researched since the 1980s – is still seen by experts as a breakthrough and a huge success in the field of transplant surgery. Prior to the heart transplant, a complex procedure was performed: the pig was bred by a specialized company, genetically modified, and the organ was re-examined for possible viruses. However, according to the “New York Times”, virus tests are only designed to detect active pathogens. Apparently, this is not the case with the detection of cytomegalovirus.

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