History Of Organ Transplants And Its Effects On The Success Rate Of Transplants
The first organ transplants took place in 200 BC. A Chinese physician, Hua-Tuo, is said to have replaced diseased organs with healthy ones. He is also the first physician to use anaesthesia. Both of these are significant. Organs could be replaced and anaesthetics were available.
Not much is recorded about organ transplants until the late 17th and early 18th centuries, when experiments with animal to human blood transfusions, skin grafts, and animal to human transplants were trialled with varying degrees of success.
The year 1940 is significant, as UK researcher Peter Medawar, began to identify the immunological process underlying tissue rejection. This impacted on the success rate of transplants.
In 1954 the first successful kidney transplant occurred between twins. Both went on to lead productive lives. This was a major step forward in transplant history.
From the 1950’s to 1980’s a variety of successful organ transplants occurred in the UK, USA and South Africa. The success story of a heart transplant by Dr Barnard in South Africa, in 1968, swept around the world and suddenly life took on a new meaning.
A major breakthrough in 1983 with a drug, cyclosporine, prevented tissue rejection, a major problem with transplant procedures. Other drugs followed and transplant success seemed inevitable.
The 1980’s also saw a number of laws & acts passed, regulating organ transplants. This was to try and make this process fair and equitable. In Australia and…