Newborn baby receives world’s first partial heart transplant

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DURHAM, NC (WECT/Gray News) – A newborn in North Carolina has received the first known partial heart transplant.

According Duke HealthLiving arteries and valves from a donated heart were fused together in a baby’s heart on April 22.

Duke officials said the operation was performed on Owen Monroe, a 5-pound newborn.

“As a trying experience for our family, we knew from the start that Owen was in good hands,” said Nick Monroe, Owen’s father.

WECT reports that Owen’s family is from Leland, North Carolina, but the baby was born in Duke after his parents learned he had a condition called the arterial trunk, in which his two main heart arteries were blocked. merged.

Duke Health said one of Monroe’s vessels also had a leaky valve, which made it unlikely he could survive the wait for a full heart transplant.

According to the medical team, this scenario usually requires preserved cadaver arteries with valves, but the non-living tissue requires repeated open-heart surgeries to be replaced as the person grows. But by transplanting living tissue, the heart will grow over time as usual without the need for these follow-up surgeries.

A partial transplant would allow parts of a heart to be used that would otherwise not be viable for a full transplant.

“Our greatest hope is that Owen’s success will change the way organ donations and transplants are handled not just for babies with congenital heart disease, but for all patients,” said Nick Monroe.

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