Pig Heart Transplant Failed, Doctors Unsure Why

Pig Heart Transplant Failed, Doctors Unsure Why

Doctors’ TRANSPLANT Goes Wrong – They Don’t Know Why

(FeaturedNews.com) – In January, doctors performed a ground-breaking procedure on a 57-year-old man, successfully transplanting a pig’s heart for his own. Two months later, he died. Now, after months of trying to figure out the reason for his death, doctors have some disturbing answers that may point to why, but still aren’t entirely sure.

David Bennett Sr. received the experimental procedure as a last-ditch effort to save his life. In need of an immediate heart and ineligible for the donor’s list, he opted for the surgery. Bennett was recovering well until one morning, he began showing signs of an infection without warning. The pig heart swelled, stopped functioning, and Bennett died in early March.

Post-mortem DNA testing of the organ indicated the pig heart was infected with an animal virus. Researchers discovered porcine cytomegalovirus in the muscle, but not an active infection. Dr. Bartley Griffith, the attending surgeon on Bennett’s case, said that type of dormant virus is cause for concern since animal transmission of viruses to humans can be extremely dangerous, CBS News reports.

Doctors are still unclear if the virus discovered in the autopsy of the heart was the culprit or if some other underlying cause may have contributed to the fatal outcome. Clearly, the episode that killed Mr. Bennett wasn’t typical of organ rejection. The inquiry is ongoing.

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