Australia claims world first in heart surgery

A SYDNEY hospital's surgeons have completed the world's first heart transplant of a dead person.

The St Vincent's Hospital Heart Lung Transplant unit recently completed two transplants using hearts donated after circulatory death.

Usually teams transplant the still-beating heart of a brain-dead donor patient.

The team used special techniques and pioneering research work by the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute to successfully complete the two operations.

Association Professor Kumud Dhital, who performed the operations, said transplant teams had relied solely on brain-dead donors until now.

Transplant unit medical director Professor Peter MacDonald said the operations were "a major inroad to reducing the shortage of donor organs".


Topics:  surgery

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