It’s been a staple of medical dramas and third-year student rotations for years: transporting organs on ice. But Transmedics is moving forward with clinical trials that may prove their system is superior:
Since the advent of transplantation, the cornerstone of organ preservation has been cold ischemic storage. Although this method was intended to help reduce the extent of organ damage during transport, significant damage still occurs. The more time that passes, the more damage occurs.
Living organ transplant performed with the TransMedics Organ Care System could resolve many of the limitations associated with cold ischemic storage. By pumping warm, oxygenated, nutrient-rich blood through the organ from the time of removal until it is implanted, the organ may withstand longer periods of time outside of the body and be less vulnerable to damage during transportation to the recipient. More extensive testing for function and tissue matching may also be possible with a functioning organ.
They keep the donated organs going by pumping donor blood through the tissue, along with their own nutrient mix. Not only do they keep hearts beating, but we even saw defibrillator pads in the heart container!
We’re not sure the system will “remove urgency” from the transplant process, like they claim, but it would be great if they improve organ viability and uptake.
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