"Asleep" Human Heart Kept in a Box is Still Alive!

Khryss | Published 2017-10-24 03:33

Yes, organs may now be able to survive outside the body!

New technology may bring an end to deaths due to "stuck-in-waiting-list" system on heart transplant patients. Called "heart in a box", this may keep a heart alive and pumping outside the donor, just waiting for a recipient in need.

The device adds more time to the organ, letting it survive outside the body for at least eight hours--essentially longer than the maximum of three to four hours on ice. This boosts the number available for transplants as hearts can now be taken from further areas. Not only that, this also allows surgeons to get suitable donor heart for each patient, consequently preventing the transferring of those that won't work and will, instead put the their life at risk.

“Now we say no to a lot of good hearts,” Stig Steen at Lund University in Sweden, who developed the technique told NewScientist. “With the new way, we can take hearts from theoretically the whole world. We can get the perfect fit for each patient.”

Andre Simon, consultant surgeon and director of transplantation at the Royal Brompton and Harefield, agrees. "Put simply, it means that patients at Harefield have had life-saving heart transplants which otherwise would not have been possible, primarily because we have travelled greater distances to retrieve an organ and have been able to transplant  many more patients who already have an implanted device keeping them alive," he said.

"For us, the OCS technology has become the gold standard for organ retrieval. It means we can treat more patients and has resulted in patients spending less time on intensive care and in hospital post transplant compared with previous years. We have  also reduced the incidence of post-transplant heart failure."

What a hearty news! Both literally and figuratively.


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