Remember UK’s first beating heart transplant surgery made possible by TransMedics Organ Care System we reported last month? Well now that pioneering medical technology, a warm blood perfusion technology device, is on display at the Science Museum in London.
24 Hour Museum reports:
Pioneering medical technology set to revolutionise the way we carry out transplants will be on display at the Science Museum for National Transplant Week, which runs from Monday 10th – Saturday 15th July 2006.
The equipment – on temporary loan to the museum from its designers, TransMedics – enabled surgeons at Papworth Hospital to carry out the UK’s first beating heart transplant on 22nd May 2006.
Now, visitors to the Science Museum’s science and technology gallery, Antenna, will be able to see this life-saving medical apparatus firsthand, as well as amazing footage of a heart pumping in the apparatus’ chamber.
Natasha Waterson, Antenna Exhibition Developer said: “Right now, some organs are wasted because they can’t be transported and transplanted in time. A heart can only be stored for around 4-6 hours before it becomes unusable and it’s hard for medical teams to match a suitable patient and operate in time.”
“This new equipment from TransMedics can keep donor hearts alive for up to twelve hours, allowing medical teams to minimise the risk of organ rejection and up the success rate of transplants, which is good news for the 8,000 UK citizens who are currently on transplant waiting lists.”
The technology is currently being trialled at Papworth Hospital and works much like a portable life support system for individual organs, and is an innovative mix of exiting organ donor technology and new medical science.
A heart is placed within a sterile chamber and then revived. Blood is sampled and the heart tested using ultrasound. Monitors track vital signs and provide important information for surgical teams assessing the heart for transplant. Pumps maintain a pulse-like flow of blood and nutrients to the heart stop it from deteriorating and becoming too damaged for a successful transplant.