publish date 2022-07-28 08:41:15
The world’s first heart transplant was performed on people living with HIV at Montefiore Health System Center in the Bronx.
The patient, in her 60s, had heart failure and received the life-saving donation, along with a concurrent kidney transplant, in early spring.
After the successful surgery, the doctors said, which lasted four hours, she spent five weeks recovering in hospital, and the patient is now being monitored by Montefiore’s transplant doctors.
Montefiore is one of only 25 centers in the United States qualified to offer such a complex surgery.
The center’s heart transplant team is globally renowned for leading innovative approaches, such as transplanting a dead donor heart after a heart has stopped beating – a new approach that has the potential to save hundreds of people who need a new heart every year.
“The goal of the Montefiore heart transplant team is to continually advance and set new standards so that anyone can A suitable organ transplant can benefit from this life-saving procedure.”
In 2013, the HIV Organ Policy Equality Act enabled people with HIV to donate their organs to an HIV-positive recipient, but it took nearly 10 years for this opportunity to become a reality for heart transplants.
“Thanks to significant medical advances, people living with HIV are now able to control the disease so well that they can now save the lives of others,” said Ulrich Gorde, MD, chief of heart failure, vice chair of cardiology at Montefiore and professor of medicine at Albert Einstein. “This surgery is a milestone in the history of organ donation and offers new hope to people who previously had nowhere to turn.”
The patient’s cardiologist, Dr. Omar Saeed, who is also an assistant professor of medicine at Albert Einstein, said: “This was a complex case and a truly multidisciplinary effort by cardiology, surgery, nephrology, infectious diseases, critical care and immunology. Making this option available to HIV-positive people is such an option. Human Immunology expands the donor pool and means that more people, with or without HIV, will have faster access to a life-saving organ.”
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