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50 years of heart transplantation in Germany : life 27 hours

On the 14. In February 1969, the Munich-based doctor Rudolf Zenker occurs shortly connected in front of the press. He read out a statement. The Operation that h

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50 years of heart transplantation in Germany : life 27 hours

On the 14. In February 1969, the Munich-based doctor Rudolf Zenker occurs shortly connected in front of the press. He read out a statement. The Operation that had he and his colleagues on the day before ventured, had been a failure, he says, and leaves the room. His Patient had died. It's not some OP, but the first Transplantation of a heart from person to person in Germany.

27 hours after the SURGERY, the first Patient was dead

time had settled in Germany. Elsewhere, it had the world's first such Operation by Christiaan Barnard in Cape town on 3. December 1967, as the New York Times called, a true "epidemic" of heart transplants. More than 100 transplants have been tried in 1968. Most of the patients did not survive long, some much shorter than Zenkers Patient in Munich 50 years ago today.

"It was all very early," says Bruno Reichart on the first attempt, in Germany. He was a 1971 assistant Zenker and was the mid-1980s in Cape town, the successor of Barnard. "You have to give the step great respect, that you made it," says Reichart. The Doctors had done nothing wrong. You are eminently prepared. "It was a bitter pill for them is not difficult. You don't have to talk about," he recalls.

The surgeon Werner Klinner and Fritz Sebening had planned the OP with a 30-strong Team Zenkers line meticulously. The 36-year-old Patient was terminally ill. The complicated surgery was successful. But the strangers of the heart not pumping correctly. It was from a fatally injured 39-Year-old and was for the Doctors at the time not ascertained, were injured in the accident. The post-mortem after the failed Operation revealed that it had formed a small tear in the posterior coronary artery, a blood clot, the led only 27 hours after the OP – to the death of the heart patient.

for Years, was in Germany, no heart to be transplanted

In Germany were the second and third Patient after the transplant. Worldwide, the results were in the early years was devastating. Only one Patient, operated on by Barnard, suffered the anniversary of the OP. And, although heart transplants were not technically the most Difficult, had the surgery.

The biggest Problem was preparing the Doctors of the immune system. To get the rejection reaction between the donor organ and the recipient organism in the handle, in the early years is extremely difficult. The could go so far that patients were given so many drugs that the immune system is suppressed that they died as Barnard's first Patient, an infection. Very few Doctors, among them Barnard, and the American surgeon Norman Shumway, continued to operate, with easy-to-increasing success. The most troubled.

The Munich-based heart surgeon, Rudolf Zenker, in a press statement to the first heart transplant in the Federal Republic of Germany from the...photo: dpa

In Germany, the handle after a year-long break in may 1981, a Team led by the Munich-based surgeon Fritz Sebening as the first back to the scalpel. New drugs such as cyclosporin, which are no longer blocked to prevent the rejection of the entire immune system, have brought better results. In 1983, the first heart-lung Transplantation in Germany, in Reichart in Munich. In 1997, he transplanted for the first time, the nationwide heart, lung, and liver at the same time. The patient lived eleven years – a Testament to the progress in transplantation medicine.

"We accept today's institutions, we would not have accepted 20 years ago,"

Meanwhile, the heart transplantation is a recognised treatment for seriously ill people. In the past year, transplanted Doctors in Germany according to the German organ transplantation Foundation 318 the heart. After years of declining Numbers – especially after the organ donation scandal in 2012 – means that for the first Time, again an increase. Nevertheless, the waiting lists are long, currently about 700 patients in Germany, hope for a new heart.

Volkmar Falk, Medical Director of the German heart centre in Berlin, is the biggest Problem in the Donation. "Because many people do not agree with the current rules active, you agree to be passive with no," said Falk the daily mirror. Therefore, he would argue for a contradiction solution. In countries with this scheme, the Donation proof was higher. And the small number of donors have to follow: "We accept today, for example, organs from older donors, we would not have accepted 20 years ago," said Falk. "Simply because the organs are so scarce."

This was only possible because they could manage the patient thanks to a complex of intensive therapy, improved anesthetic management, and the involvement of Infectious disease specialists better. Also the drugs which inhibit the immune system, to be further improved, and with the new method, the organs can be protected during transportation better.

After one year, about 80 to 90 percent of the heart in the receiver, still, after ten years, about 60 percent, says Falk. "When you consider that the people would have died without a new heart, these are very good Numbers."

A replacement heart in the backpack

Meanwhile, has reached the research last year, a milestone. Bruno Reichart and his Team managed to have a genetically-manipulated pig's heart for six months in a baboon beat. "This has reached a first period of time, remember that the technique could be used," says Falk. Until such clinical trials begin on humans, it'll take but according to Reichart for at least three years.

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50 years, heart transplantation is The moon landing of the surgery

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In Berlin, is working on the development of another type of valve replacement: artificial heart systems. 150 of such battery-operated centrifugal pumps, the patient can carry in a backpack around, to be installed per year in the German heart centre in Berlin, patients. "We hope to be able to a permanent Alternative to heart transplantation to develop," said Falk. (with dpa)

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