Heart Transplant Patient Shows More Rejection Signs
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) _ Heart transplant patient Michael Drummond has shown signs of rejecting his new heart for the second time since surgery last month, but doctors are not alarmed, University Medical Center officials said Wednesday.
Drummond, 25, suffered the second mild rejection episode last weekend while recovering from a lung infection, said Nina Trasoff, hospital communications director. The episode was made public Tuesday.
Drummond remained in serious condition in the intensive care unit, she said. His temperature was normal after rising slightly Tuesday night.
Doctors took samples of tissue around the heart after the rejection signs appeared, she said. Results of the biopsy were unavailable immediately.
″Michael looks good, his spirits are good and he is eating well,″ Ms. Trasoff said.
Drummond received the heart of a Texas accident victim Sept. 7 after being kept alive with a Jarvik-7 artificial heart for nine days.
The Phoenix man showed initial signs of rejecting the heart Sept. 14, but doctors expected it and said that it was a mild episode, Ms. Trasoff said.
The second episode also appeared to be mild, she said. Transplant patients usually have at least two rejection episodes in the first three months after surgery.
Drummond was transferred back to intensive care Sept. 20 after he developed a fever and breathing problems caused by a lung infection, Ms. Trasoff said.
The ″smoldering″ infection was still present in his system Wednesday, she said.
″He’s not cured yet, but he’s getting better,″ she said. ″Doctors feel it will take a while to get it out of his system.″