"Seven patients have already been operated on and they have progressed very well despite having suffered serious damage to their heart tissue," it added.
    
It is the first time that allogeneic cells stem cells that come from another person have been used to repair damage to a heart caused by a heart attack, the statement added.
    
A heart attack happens when the organ is starved of oxygen, such as when a clot blocks the flow of blood to the heart.
    
As the heart heals, the dead muscle is replaced with scar tissue, but because this does not beat like healthy heart muscle the ability to pump blood around the body is reduced.
    
Stem cells figure prominently in their plans although they have up until now involved the patient's own stem cells.
    
While it takes 4-8 weeks to process a patients' own stem cells to be used in therapy, donor cells can be processed and stored and are available for immediate use, the hospital's head of cardiology, Francisco Ferandez-Avila said in the statement.
    
"Besides this very important advantage, this technique allows for the selection of donors whose cells show the greatest potential to repair" heart tissue, he added.

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