Los Altos High students perform transplants for final in Hacienda Heights

Forget Doogie Howser, these real-life teens were transplanting organs in preserved pigs as part of their final exam in anatomy and physiology at Los Altos High School.

The pressure was on as six surgical teams took turns performing kidney, heart and lung transplants. They only had 90 minutes to save their patients on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, a second surgical team was experiencing a rapid rise in their pig’s heart rate. Once again, the young surgeons had to decide which drug to administer.

“We have a special program for their tablets that allows me to introduce emergency situations during their operations,” explained teacher Sean Kane, chairman of the science department.

The tablets simulated the EKG and other medical monitors found in a real hospital. But any mistakes the young doctors made wouldn’t be fatal.

The ROP medical academy at Los Altos High began four years ago. This year, the academy offered eight sections, serving hundreds of Hacienda La Puente Unified students.

For more, read Rich Irwin’s story TRANSPLANT.