History of Transplants

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You’re 50 years old now. You haven’t taken care of your body as well as you thought you did and now you must go through hundreds of tests to see if you can get that new organ that you need. Would your chances of survival be good if you needed a transplant back in the 1800’s? What about present time? Do you have a chance of living a long life? Does the future truly look brighter for transplants? You’ll learn about your chances of a successful transplant in both the past, present, and future. What is the history of transplants? No one knows exactly how long people have been transplanting tissue but some of the first information we have is from the 1500’s. The first thing to medical record was of a doctor named Tagliacozzi who helped soldier’s who had lost their noses in battle. The technique of letting arm tissue connect and grow on the nose quickly spread throughout Europe. Then, in 1616, British doctor William Harvey, took the first steps towards blood transfusions. He proved that blood runs through the body via veins and arteries. It took till 1818 for James Blundell to inform everyone that using animal blood in transfusions was fatal (Wouk 12). Blood transfusions were continued despite the mysteries behind it all. While doctors were stumped by transplanting blood from one person to another, others continued forward. In 1869, the first skin transplant occurred. Then, in 1906 they conducted the first transfer of corneas. Once everyone was finding that certain relocations of body parts was working they moved onto the moving of organs. The first successful kidney transplant was in 1954 and it was between identical twins. Next, in 1959, doctors completed another kidney transplant once again twins but this time they weren’t identi... ... middle of paper ... ...you paid attention, you’d know that most people didn’t live a long time after a transplant in the 17th to the early 20th century. Your chances of living through a transplant were raised back in the 1950’s but you’d still be luckier to have a transplant done today in the 21st century. The probability of survival in the future is even better! Once stem cell research is clearly understood, the chances of living a long life after a transplant are about 100%! Works Cited Frieson, Tommy. “Timeline of Historical Events Significant Milestones in Organ Donation and Transplantation.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Health Resources & Services Administration, 2009. Web. 4 Mar. 2014. . Wouk, Henry. Organ Transplants. Ed. Megan Comerford, Joyce Stanton, and Christine Florie. New York: Cavendish Square, n.d. Print.
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