May 26, 2024

Columbus Post

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USA: Rick Slayman dies 2 months after pig kidney transplant

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Two months after surgeryThe first pig kidney transplant patient died

At the end of March 2024, Rick Slayman became the first person in the world to transplant a pig kidney. He was declared brought dead by the hospital where he was being treated.

  • Rick Slayman, the first patient to receive a transplanted pig kidney, died less than two months after the operation.

  • The treating hospital in the US did not release any information on the cause of death.

  • In 2022, two pig heart transplant recipients died.

The first patient to have a pig kidney transplanted died. Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, USA, announced that staff were deeply saddened by the sudden death of Rick Slayman on Saturday evening (local time). There is no evidence that his death in late March was related to the transplant. The hospital did not release any information on the cause of death.

In March this year, Slayman became the first person in the world to have a genetically modified pig kidney inserted in a four-hour operation. A 62-year-old dialysis patient presented with advanced renal disease. He received a human donor kidney in 2018, but it failed last year.

Shortage of donor organs worldwide

“Mr. has helped countless transplant patients around the world. We are extremely grateful for his faith and desire to advance the field of xenotransplantation,” the hospital wrote in its statement.

Due to the scarcity of human donor organs, medical research is increasingly relying on animal organs. The branch of research is called xenotransplantation, which usually refers to transplanting organs from one species to another. The pig kidney for Slayman was removed in a biotech lab to remove the pig genes that are harmful to humans and add some human genes before the transplant.

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Patients with pig hearts also died

The shortage of donor organs is a worldwide problem. According to the hospital, there are 1,400 people on the waiting list for kidney transplants at MGH alone, and nearly 90,000 across the country.

Since 2022, doctors in the US have transplanted genetically modified pig hearts into two patients for the first time in the world. However, both patients died within two months of surgery.

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(AFP/Eve)