Organ Transplants

Topics: Organ transplant, Immune system, Transplant rejection Pages: 6 (2057 words) Published: May 14, 2013

Organ Transplants
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Organ transplants have come a long way in its relatively short life. The first successful human organ transplant was a kidney transplant in 1954, leading the way to where we are now. The biggest hurdle for transplants was overcoming the immune system, breakthroughs have been made and lead to the use of immunotherapeutic drugs to help counter effect this problem. After becoming proficient doing organ transplants, doctors started running into organ shortages. This is when Congress stepped in and paved the way for all the organizations that organize, handle, and help facilitate the delivery of organs to the best qualified recipients. Once the recipients’ have received their new gift of life it takes a lifetime of maintenance to keep the organ in proper working condition, through doctors’ visits, tests and medications, all this combined keeps the immune system in check and the organ working properly. All of this would not be possible without the pioneers who did the research and experimental surgeries on animals to perfect organ transplants. The research has not been without its battles, past, present and future, from different activist groups to legal, moral and ethical issues. But with all the researches ups and downs, it has shown the promise of saving lives and been well worth it.

Organ Transplants
Organ transplants are one of the most sophisticated types of medical procedures that has been produced my humans. Organ transplantation can be referred all the way back in ancient Greek mythology and also in a few older civilizations, but was not a reality till modern times during the mid–twentieth century. The first of any organ transplants were very much unsophisticated due to the lack of technology, and as such limited them to organs such as the corneas and skin. As technology advanced so did the possibility of internal organ transplants, the first successful internal organ transplant for humans was that of a kidney, leading the way to future more advanced procedures. These procedures are nothing less than a medical marvel, giving life to those who would otherwise perish without a transplant. The biggest problem with organ transplants is getting the human body to accept the transplant and not reject the new tissue. When something foreign enters the body that the body does not recognize or sees and foreign, the body’s natural response is an immune response. This response in a normal person not needing a transplant is something as simple as a fever or nausea, vomiting, diarrhea. But a fever or some other type of immune response to a transplant recipient is devastating, meaning that if this foreign object (organ) is not removed it will ultimately end in death. In the 1950’s a couple of men in Great Britain named Peter Medawar and Sir Frank Burnet were doing research on this type of rejection by the human body. The first exposure to this was Medawar as a wartime surgeon observing skin grafts. He observed that patients receiving skin grafts bodies would reject the graft if they had not been exposed to similar foreign tissue earlier in their lives. Their first research subjects were chickens, and led them to the discovery of the immune response that transplant patients bodies would invoke. This research led the way for the development immunosuppressant drugs that would suppress the human body’s immune response allowing time for the body to accept organ transplants. In 1960 Sir Frank Burnet and Peter Medawar shared the Nobel Prize in Medicine for their pioneering work on immune tolerance and graft rejection. There are a number of organs and tissues that can be transplanted. The organs are the heart, liver, kidneys, lungs, pancreas, intestines, and the tissues include corneas, heart valve, skin, vascular tissues, bone, ligaments, and tendons, of these kidneys are the most transplanted. The kidneys are the most transplanted due to the fact that we are all born with two of...
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