OSCAR BURRIEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY OSCAR BURRIEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Heart donation. Abstract image of the hands of a heart donor passing a human heart to a surgeon's gloved hands. Here the heart is a model. Heart donation involves surgical transplantation of a patient's damaged or diseased heart with a healthy donated heart. Open heart surgery is necessary. Only patients with irremediable heart disease such as advanced coronary heart disease receive this treatment. The outlook of heart transplant patients is good with more than 80% of patients surviving the first year. Patients receive drugs to prevent infection and rejection of the new heart. An alternative is the use of an artificial (prosthetic) heart.
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