“heart in a box” machine
World’s first ‘dead heart’ transplants successful
Jenn Gidman from Newser Staff reports, for 20 years, the heart transplant unit at Sydney’s St. Vincent’s Hospital has been working hard to figure out a way to transplant a dead heart into a live patient. Doctors from Sydney’s St. Vincent’s Hospital announced their work had paid off.
“They have successfully completed three transplants using hearts that had stopped beating for 20 minutes”, said to be the first such transplants in the world, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
The secret to their success lies in cutting-edge technology and the preservation solution in which the non-beating hearts are immersed.
The heart is first placed in a special “heart in a box” machine that warms it up and keeps it beating for about four hours before the transplant operation. The preservation solution, which alone took 12 years to develop, minimizes damage to the organ after it has stopped beating and helps ensure it both survives the surgery and functions in the recipient’s body, Sky News reports.
OCS™ HEART: Portable Perfusion and Monitoring
TransMedics developed the OCS™ HEART system to overcome these challenges. This portable, warm perfusion and monitoring system is designed to
- Increase transplantation volume
- Improve patient outcomes
- Reduce cost of patient care
The OCS™ HEART is commercially available in Europe and Australia and is in clinical use in leading centers. The system is not available for commercial use in the U.S. It is under clinical investigation in the U.S. and Europe.