Organ was performed by Dr. Joseph Murray

Organ transplants are a medical advancement that is relatively new. Without organ transplants millions of people who are currently living their lives would not be living at all. People don’t have to go through the pain of losing a family member at such a young age. Because of this technology, transplant patients and their families are able to live happier lives. In Ancient Greece, Rome, and China, organ transplants were just myths that were performed by gods and healers. The people of this time never would have imagined that organ transplants would ever become a real life possibility. They only saw it as a fictional idea. Little did they know, this idea would later on become a reality.The first development in organ transplants was in 800 BC when Indian doctors had begun skin grafting. Since skin is considered our largest organ, this can technically be called the organ transplants. This development may seem small but it led to many other developments later on. Without this beginning step many other discoveries in organ transplantation may not have been made as soon as the were and this incredible technology wouldn’t have saved so many people’s lives.The first internal organ transplant that was successful was a kidney transplant where the kidney of one identical twin brother went to the other twin brother. Their names were Ronald and Richard Herrick and the surgery was performed by Dr. Joseph Murray and Dr. David Hume at Brigham Hospital in Boston. Before this very successful transplant, the doctors at Brigham Hospital had done many kidney grafts some of which were successful for days or even months. This gave them more information that allowed for the first transplant to work.In the years following the first kidney transplant, doctors made many more discoveries on how to make transplants work and how to transplant other organs. In 1963, the first organ transplant was performed using an organ from a brain dead donor. The organs were a kidney, lung, and liver. Currently most transplants are done using the organs of a brain dead donor. With kidneys, the person donating doesn’t have to be brain dead because you have two kidneys and you only need one to survive. Also, your liver can be regenerated over time so you are able to donate half of it to someone and it can keep both of you alive.The next major development in organ transplants was the heart transplant. In 1968, a South African surgeon named Christiaan Barnard performed a heart transplant from a 25 year old woman who had died in a car accident to a 55 year old man dying of heart damage. Unfortunately the man ended up passing away because his body rejected the heart tissue. His death allowed other doctors to find out more about transplant rejection and to be able to avoid rejection in the future using anti-rejection medications.The latest type of transplant would be a face transplant. The first partial face transplant occured in 2005 in Amiens, France. This procedure was performed by a surgical team lead by Professor Jean-Michel Dubernard and Professor Bernard Devauchelle. The patient received this surgery to replace her original face that had been ripped off by her dog. They used a portion of facial tissue from a brain dead donor to replace what was necessary. In 2010, doctors replaced the entire face of a 9-year old girl that had been ripped off by a thresher which is used to cut grass. The machine caught one of her braids and pulled her head in and she arrived at the hospital unconscious with her face in two pieces in a plastic bag. At the hospital they were able to perform the operation successfully but the girl was left with muscle damage and scars around her entire face. This was the first successful face transplant.Anti-rejection medications are drugs used to stop a recipient’s body from rejecting the transplanted organ that it received. Without this medicine many people would not live through their transplants because their body would reject the organ because it is really not supposed to be there and their bodies know that. These immunosuppressants prevent your immune system from attacking the donor organ and you often have to take them for the rest of your life as long as you have the organ. The first attempts at immunosuppression were radiation and steroids but both failed to keep patients alive for very long. Purinethol and Imuran were the first pharmaceutical medications used as immunosuppressants and the were successful in keeping the donor organs from being rejected. As time went on, doctors were able to create more effective medication and became more advanced on what was going to work best for different people. The government eventually created laws regulating organ transplantation. The U.S. congress passed the Nation Organ Transplant Act in 1984 which established the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Act to maintain national registry for organ matching. This act also created UNOS, the United Network for Organ Sharing, which is a private, nonprofit organization under federal contract that matches donor organs to a recipient. This matching is based on blood type, tissue type, medical urgency, waiting time, expected benefit, geography, and other medical criteria.If it weren’t for organ transplants the history of medicine would be completely different. Organ transplants led to other discoveries like about our immune systems though immunosuppressants. They were also followed by different kinds of valves and arteries to be transplanted when a whole organ didn’t actually need to be replaced. Also, the entire family tree of some families could be altered because one person in the family was able to live due to an organ transplant. Organ transplants altogether make the lives of so many people better.

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