a. Dr. Rene Favaloro used a vein from the leg to bypass a blocked coronary artery. This procedure, known as coronary artery bypass surgery, is performed roughly 500,000 times each year in the United States.
b. The first human heart transplant was performed in Cape Town, South Africa. Dr. Christiaan Barnard removed the heart of a 25-year-old woman who had died after an auto accident and placed it into the chest of a 55-year-old man dying of heart damage. Unfortunately, the drug used to prevent the patient's immune system from rejecting the new heart also impaired the patient's ability to fight off other illnesses. The patient died of pneumonia 18 days later. The transplant brought worldwide notoriety to Dr. Barnard and his procedure.