Doctors bring a dead heart ‘back to life’ for groundbreaking transplant

04 Décembre, 2019, 09:25 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • The method could expand the donor pool — which is currently facing a shortage — “up to as much as 30,” he added noting this could subsequently “decrease wait list time deaths on the wait list with excellent survival results.”

But donation after circulatory death "occurs after the heart has stopped beating and the person's death has been declared".

"It's a monumental leap forward in transplantation", Bryan Whitson, MD, cardiothoracic surgeon and director of the Collaboration for Organ Perfusion, Protection, Engineering and Regeneration (COPPER) at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, tells Yahoo Lifestyle, noting that centers that have expertise in this area, like Duke University Hospital, are leading the way.

In 2018, 3,400 coronary heart transplants had been performed in some unspecified time in the future of the US.

As for the veteran who received the heart, the hospital says he's recovering well. "If @RoyalPapworth's experience (approx 75 DCD heart transplants to date) has shown us anything, this will decrease waitlist time, deaths on the waitlist, with excellent survival results", he added. The introduction of hearts ito this list will change the lives of many people waiting for a transplant.

The transplant wait list in the USA is over 100,000 people long, and 20 die every day waiting for new organs.

Many organs are too damaged or in poor conditions that render them unusable. Aside from death, a donor's family history is also considered.

In an effort to handle this, docs are continuously engaged on new methods to broaden the donor pool.

"This procedure has the potential to expand the donor pool by up to 30 percent", Jacob Schroder, M.D., the doctor at Duke who performed the procedure, explains.

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Traditionally, one of the best protection in opposition to the center's decay has been retaining the organ at very chilly temperatures.

But if doctors can instead get a heart beating again after removing it from the donor's body, the organ will be "alive" once more, independent of the person who has died.

The quality of the fabric of the heart usually begins to deteriorate even before the patient will be declared dead due to low level of oxygen to the heart.

Nurtured once more, the heart muscle is 'reanimated, ' and jumps back into action.

The breakthrough operation saw surgeons at Duke University's Division of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery complete the first adult "donation-after-death" (DCD) transplant in the US.

The technique, called warm perfusion, was used to do a human heart transplant for the first time ever at Royal Papworth Hospital in the United Kingdom in 2015.

Proof of idea that docs right here can do the process, Dr Schroder hopes, will imply extra hearts shall be viable for extra sufferers.

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