• Short Summary

    SURGEONS ARE STILL ARGUING ABOUT WHETHER THE RECENT HEART TRANSPLANT OPERATIONS IN SOUTH AFRICA AND THE UNITED STATES WERE PREMATURE, AS ONLY ONE OF THE FIVE PATIENTS, DR.

  • Description

    SURGEONS ARE STILL ARGUING ABOUT WHETHER THE RECENT HEART TRANSPLANT OPERATIONS IN SOUTH AFRICA AND THE UNITED STATES WERE PREMATURE, AS ONLY ONE OF THE FIVE PATIENTS, DR. PHILIP BLAIBERG, HAS SURVIVED. SOME SAY THAT MORE EXPERIMENTAL WORK SHOULD HAVE BEEN DONE ON ANIMALS BEFORE A TRANSPLANT TO A HUMAN RECIPIENT WAS RISKED. BUT THE SURGEONS WHO DID THE OPERATIONS, PROFESSOR CHRISTIAN BARNARD IN SOUTH AFRICA, AND DR. NORMAN SHUMWAY IN NEW YORK, HAVE SAID THEY WOULD TRY AGAIN IF SUITABLE CIRCUMSTANCES OCCURRED, BECAUSE THE DEATHS HAD ARISEN FROM OTHER COMPLICATIONS, NOT FROM THE FAILURE OF THE TRANSPLANTED HEART ITSELF.

    IN THE MEANTIME, EXPERIMENTAL WORK IS CONTINUING. THIS FILM SHOWS ONE SUCH OPERATION, PERFORMED ON AN ANIMAL. IT INVOLVES THE TRANSPLANT OF A HEART AND LUNGS TOGETHER, AND IS PERFORMED BY DR. DONALD LONGMORE, CONSULTANT PHYSIOLOGIST AT THE NATIONAL HEART HOSPITAL IN LONDON. BEFORE STARTING THE OPERATION, DR. LONGMORE EXPLAINS WHAT HE IS SETTING OUT TO DO:
    THE FIRST STAGE SHOWN ON FILM IS A SHORTENED SEQUENCE OF THE PREPARATIONS OF THE RECIPIENT PATIENT TO RECEIVE THE NEW HEART AND LUNGS: THE REMOVAL OF ITS OWN UNWANTED ORGANS. BEFORE THIS IS ONE, THE PATIENT IS CONNECTED TO A HEART-LUNG MACHINE, WHICH KEEPS THE CIRCULATION AND OXYGEN SUPPLY GOING DURING THE OPERATION.

    DR. LONGMORE THEN SHOWS THE NEW HEART WHICH HE IS ABOUT TO INSERT INTO THE PATIENT'S BODY. IT IS KEPT IN A SPECIAL FLUID IN A PLASTIC BAG, AND IS BEATING QUITE NATURALLY, WITHOUT ARTIFICIAL STIMULUS.

    FILM THEN SHOWS THE MACHINE STILL BY-PASSING THE PATIENT'S HEART AND KEEPING THE CIRCULATION GOING WHILE THE SURGEON BEGINS JOINING UP THE AORTA. DR. LONGMORE EXPLAIN WHILE HE WAS WORKING THAT A YEAR AGO A MAJOR DISCOVERY WAS MADE IN HOLLAND ABOUT THE CLASSIFICATION OF TYPES OF TISSUE. THIS MEANT THAT A PATIENTS CAN BE GIVEN TISSUE MATCHING HIS OWN, WHICH HIS BODY IS THEREFORE LESS LIKELY TO REJECT. WITHOUT THIS TISSUE TYPING, REJECTION COULD ONLY BE CHECKED BY LARGE DOSES OF DRUGS, WHICH AT THE SAME TIME LOWERED THE PATIENT'S RESISTANCE TO INFECTION.

    THE NEXT STAGE OF THE OPERATION DESCRIBED BY DR. LONGMORE IS AFTER THE AORTA HAS BEEN JOINED, THE JOINING UP OF THE HEART'S COLLECTING CHAMBERS:
    WHEN THE WINDPIPE IS RECONNECTED, THE OPERATION IS ALMOST OVER. THE PATIENT HAS THE WHOLE CIRCUIT FOR BLOOD AND OXYGEN RE-ESTABLISHED, READY TO TAKE OVER FROM THE ARTIFICIAL CIRCUIT THROUGH THE HEART-LUNG MACHINE. ALL THAT REMAINS THEN IS TO DISCONNECT THE TUBES LEADING TO THE MACHINE.

    THE WHOLE OPERATION TAKES ABOUT THREE HOUSE. DR. LONGMORE DESCRIBES THE CLOSING STAGES:

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVAD99NVQA9ESQ06294XAC9YL7AD
    Media URN:
    VLVAD99NVQA9ESQ06294XAC9YL7AD
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    02/02/1968
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:10:01:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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