About sixty years ago, successful organ transplants for humans began to show signs of success. Since then, organ transplants have saved millions of lives worldwide. More than 65,000 Americans are waiting for an organ transplant. While each day about 57 Americans receive a transplant, about 13 will die because not enough organs are available. Once a transplant has been completed, preventing the body’s rejection of the transplanted organ can be an ongoing challenge. The body’s attempt to destroy the transplanted organ; usually occurs in the first year after transplant. Rejection occurs when the body tries to attack a transplanted organ because it reacts to the organ or tissue as a foreign object and produces antibodies to destroy it. Anti-rejection (immunosuppressive) drugs help prevent rejection. (506)
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