When Was the Heart Transplant Invented?

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The first human heart transplant was performed on Dec. 3, 1967, when a South African surgeon, named Christian Bernard operated on 53-year-old Louis Washkansky. The transplanted heart was taken from a 25-year-old woman who died in a car accident prior that year.

While the first human heart transplant occurred in 1967, numerous scientists and physicians had worked towards performing this type of surgery for a long time. The discovery of antibody and antigens by Paul Ehrlich, and the blood-typing methods implemented by Karl Landsteiner's and Elie Metchnikoff's theory of host resistance were the first groundbreaking discoveries that gave surgeons a better understanding of the human body and eventually lead to the performing of organ transplant surgeries.