OSCAR BURRIEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY OSCAR BURRIEL / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Heart donation. Abstract image of a heart donor handing over his heart, with a hole left in his chest. Heart donation involves surgical transplantation of a patient's damaged or diseased heart with a healthy donated heart. Only patients with fatal heart conditions 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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