INTRODUCTION The world's heart transplant pioneer, Dr. Christian Barnard of South Africa, says he's ready?
CUs INTERIOR: heart transplant pioneer Dr. Christian Barnard speaking to reporters (in English) in Grooke Schuur Hospital laboratory, Cape Town, South Africa. (5 shots)
TRANSCRIPT SEQ 1: BARNARD: "I think we've reached the stage where we can't go any further in the laboratory. We have examined all the problems as we see them and we can attack them in experimental work. I think the next step will be to apply what we've learned here in the laboratory to clinical practice, and we've come to the stage where, as soon as we have a suitable patient, we are prepared to use a baboon heart in an effort to help this patient."
REPORTER: "Would you be ready to do the operation right now if it was necessary?"
BARNARD: "It's only in cases where the patient urgently need help...needs help....and we don't have a human heart. We also trying to get some chimpanzees now. I've ordered some. We would prefer to use the chimpanzee instead of the baboon because I think there'll be less problem with rejection if we use a chimpanzee heart, and also the chimpanzee's a little bigger than the baboon and therefore will be able to carry a bigger portion of the circulation than the baboon heart. But if we should get a patient now and we feel we can help him with a baboon transplant we are ready to do that."
REPORTER: "Professor, and your experiments with heart storage. How are these experiments progressing?"
BARNARD: "Well, in this laboratory now we have been able to store a heart for 24 hours after being taken out from the donor and transplanted successfully. I think we quite prepared to store a heart for six or eight ours in human practice, and we are preparing now the necessary equipment to remove a heart in one of the other big cities in our country -- for example, Durban, or Pretoria, or Johannesburg, or Bloemfontein, and transport it here to Cape Town."
REPORTER: CHARL PAUW
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION The world's heart transplant pioneer, Dr. Christian Barnard of South Africa, says he's ready and able to put an ape's heart into a human patient. Dr. Barnard performed the World's first heart transplant ten years ago this year, and did the world's first double 'plant in 1974 -- giving a patient two hearts. He announced his latest major step in radical surgery from his Grooke Schuur Hospital laboratory in Cape Town.