A medical research team in Australia has for the first time succeeded in transplanting a heart that is “dead” to another patient using a new groundbreaking method.
Heart transplantations are usually and almost exclusively done with hearts from patients declared to be brain dead. Since the risk of complications is otherwise deemed to be too large. The heart is still beating during these procedures. And since this is very rare circumstances this naturally limits a number of possible heart donors.
Now, doctors at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney have succeeded in transplanting a heart that has was clinically “dead” and had stopped beating for about 20 minutes. Since this successful first attempt, the method has been successfully performed three times more with all patients reported feeling good.
A team of doctors at St. Vincent’s Hospital along with a team of researchers from Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute developed a nutrient solution in which the heart is lowered along with blood from the donor. And then using their invention “heart in a box”, the heart is switched on mechanically and connected to a sterile closed loop by which it regains its function
The team of researchers proclaims the method to be a possible “paradigm shift” for heart transplantation’s, saving the lives of 30% more heart transplant patients by increasing the supply of suitable donors.
St Vincent’s Hospital heart & lung transplantation
Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute