July 17, 2024

Healt Hid

Because health is very important to us

Oakland County man recipient of Michigan’s first beating heart transplant

2 min read

DETROIT – There have been many technological breakthroughs in recent years that have helped get lifesaving organs to patients — the latest combines a newer technology with a very exciting new technique.

Henry Ford Health announced Tuesday, June 25, the first two successful beating heart transplants in the state of Michigan

As the name implies, a beating heart transplant is done on a beating heart — that means stitching five blood vessels while they move about once a second. Imagine that you are hand sewing the hem of a tiny pair of pants while someone is wearing them and once a second, they jerk their leg a little bit. And if you mess up, they die.

Ken Miller, a resident of Ferndale, was the first Michigan patient to receive a beating heart transplant.

“I didn’t quite understand it right from the beginning,” Miller recalled. “I felt blessed and privileged to get the procedure because I think I have a better chance of survival.”

Dr. Kyle Miletic, a cardiac transplant surgeon with Henry Ford Health, said it allows organs — like the heart — to be kept “alive” while they are transported out of the body. In the case of the heart, it remains beating.

The traditional way of transplanting a heart is that the heart would be stopped and sewn into the body while still cold. The problem is for the 60-90 minutes after you stop the heart and are sewing it in, it’s no longer beating and undergoing slow damage. But what if you didn’t stop the heart? By attaching the continuously beating heart to the patient’s bypass circulation, you can do just that.

“While the heart is continuously beating and receiving for the first time the recipient’s blood, we’re actually sewing it in,” Miletic said. “It’s a little bit more challenging having to hit a moving target because the heart is moving the whole time.”

The heart was sewn in as it was beating between 60 and 80 beats per minute. Five blood vessels have to be reattached, requiring hundreds of individual stitches.

Read: How do I sign up to become an organ and tissue donor?

People can register to donate organs, tissue and eyes at the end of their life to someone in need of a transplant. They can also explore a “living donation” — or giving a kidney or part of their liver to someone in need while both individuals are living.

Michiganders can enroll using the Online Michigan Organ Donor Registry or sign up for organ donation when renewing or requesting a replacement license or state ID card.

Gift of Life Michigan, an organization that facilitates organ and tissue donations, works with the Michigan Secretary of State to grow and maintain the registry, you can click here to learn more and to sign up to become a donor.

Copyright 2024 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit – All rights reserved.

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