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

04 December 2019

This modern approach was first carried out in 2015 by surgeons at the Royal Papworth Hospital, in Cambridge, UK. However, surgeons used a pioneering technique to run blood back through the disembodied heart so it would beat again.

According to Daily Mail, the surgery - believed to be first of its kind in the United States - was part of ongoing experiments to end the perennial scarcity of heart donors in cases involving heart transplant. The organ, known as a DCD heart (DCD stands for donation after circulatory death), was implanted into a patient in a successful procedure.

Doctors have now brought an adult heart back to life to transplant it into a person in need of a new organ for the first time in the US. Once the organ is revived, it can be transplanted into a patient who is in need of a healthy heart. The registered donors don't seem to increase in number as well.

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DCD has been performed on other organs in the US, but this is the first time it has been used in a heart transplant procedure.

Many organs are too broken or in poor circumstances that render them unusable.

And other organs may be ineligible based on their donors' medical histories, lifestyles or infections they have contracted. According to Dr. Jacob Schroder, one of the surgeons, interviewed by Daily Mail, "This is the first time in the USA, which is a huge deal because transplant need and volume is so high, but a few centers around the world, including Papworth, have pioneered this effort". This is the expanding donor pool!

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The diagram carried out by Duke University surgeons is is named a "donation-after-loss of life" (DCD) transplant and involves taking away the coronary heart of a affected person confirmed as unnecessary. Actually, by the point a coronary heart stops naturally, it is already been operating on a low provide of oxygen, that the tissue has been dying earlier than circulatory demise could possibly be proclaimed.

For the time between hosts, the heart is typically kept cold to prevent decay, and remains viable for no more than six hours before it must be placed in a new body.

"Traditionally, heart donations have depended on a declaration of brain death", according to Duke University Hospital press release, meaning that all brain activity has stopped, but the heart continues beating, keeping the other organs alive. In a tweet, he felt that this new technique could expand the donor pool from "up to 30%".

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"This is the first time in the U.S., which is a huge deal because transplant need and volume is so high, but a few centers around the world, including Papworth, have pioneered this effort", he was quoted to have said.

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