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BARNARD, CHRISTIAAN N. - [THE FIRST TRULY SUCCESSFUL HUMAN HEART TRANSPLANT]

Human Cardiac Transplantation. An Evaluation of the First Two Operations Performed at the Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town. [In: The American Journal of Cardiology, vol. 22, nr. 4, pp. 584-596].

lyn51772

New York, 1968. Lex 8vo. Entire issue present, in the original printed wrappers. A bit of wear to extremities, but overall a fine copy. Pp. (584)-596. [Entire issue: 44 pp. + pp. 449-608 + pp. (45)-(70)]. ¶ First printing of Barnard's second publication (here under the heading "Historical Milestones") on the seminal performance of the world's first human heart transplantations, one of the most important medical performances in the course of history - "the most publicised event in world medical history". This medical breakthrough introduced to the world a way to prolong life that would become of seminal importance to modern man.

Barnard famously carried out the world's first human-to-human heart transplant on December 3 1967, which he described in a paper three weeks later. The patent, Louis Washkansky, a 54-year-old grocer suffering from diabetes and incurable heart disease, died of double pneumonia on December 21 that same year. But nonetheless, the operation became a worldrenowned success. Merely a month later, on January 2 1968, Barnard conducted the world's second human heart transplant, inscribing himself into history once again. This time, the patient, Philip Blaiberg, survived for 19 months.
The present paper is the first to describe these two seminal performances together.

"Christiaan (Chris) Barnard was born in 1922 and qualified in medicine at the University of Cape Town in 1946. Following surgical training in South Africa and the USA, Barnard established a successful open-heart surgery programme at Groote Schuur Hospital and the University of Cape Town in 1958. In 1967, he led the team that performed the world's first human-to-human heart transplant. The article describing this remarkable achievement was published in the South African Medical Journal just three weeks after the event and is one of the most cited articles in the cardiovascular field. In the lay media as well, this first transplant remains the most publicised event in world medical history. Although the first heart transplant patient survived only 18 days, four of Groote Schuur Hospital's first 10 patients survived for more than one year, two living for 13 and 23 years, respectively. This relative success amid many failures worldwide did much to generate guarded optimism that heart transplantation would eventually become a viable therapeutic option. This first heart transplant and subsequent ongoing research in cardiac transplantation at the University of Cape Town and in a few other dedicated centres over the subsequent 15 years laid the foundation for heart transplantation to become a well-established form of therapy for end-stage cardiac disease. During this period from 1968 to 1983, Chris Barnard and his team continued to make major contributions to organ transplantation, notably the development of the heterotopic ( 'piggy-back') heart transplants; advancing the concept of brain death, organ donation and other related ethical issues; better preservation and protection of the donor heart (including hypothermic perfusion storage of the heart; studies on the haemodynamic and metabolic effects of brain death; and even early attempts at xenotransplantation." (Cardiovasc J Afr. 2009 Jan-Feb;20(1):31-5.)

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