Healthcare News & Insights

Heart dropped on ground used in (successful) transplant

Paging Dr. Butterfingers. Doctors in Mexico used a heart that had been dropped on the ground (literally) on its way to the hospital for transplantation. More troubling, the patient who received the heart, Erika Hernandez, hasn’t been told that her new heart made a brief detour to the floor before it was placed inside her chest. Doctors said they were leaving it up to her family to pass on the story.

Of course, since Hernandez is reportedly thriving after the procedure, she may not be too concerned about the details of how the heart got to her.

The heart was donated by the relatives of a man who died in a car accident. It traveled nearly 300 miles by ambulance, plane and helicopter to get to Hernandez’s hospital, while national news reported on the case. Traffic was stopped to allow the helicopter to land near the hospital. After disembarking, one of the staffers wheeling the heart’s cooler stumbled. The cooler’s lid flew off and the heart landed in the street.

The medics quickly grabbed the heart, which fortunately had been wrapped in plastic, put it back in the cooler and continued on their way.

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