Doctors pump new life into dead donor heart in US first

Doctors complete first heart transplant from dead donor in the US

Doctors complete first heart transplant from dead donor in the US

Doctors have brought a dead adult heart back to life and transplanted it into a person needing a new organ in what is described as a first for United States health experts.

Doctors at Duke University in the U.S. have managed to reanimate the heart of a deceased donor by using an artificial circulatory mechanism that continues pumping blood through the organ while it's outside the body, reports Daily Mail. The staff then performed a pioneering technique to run blood back into the disembodied heart, so it would beat once again.

The first human heart transplant was performed in 1967 in South Africa. A year later, Stanford University doctors performed the first such transplant in the US. "We are grateful for the courage and generosity of both the donors and recipients".

Many organs are too damaged or in poor conditions that render them unusable. Aside from death, a donor's family history is also considered.

In 2018, 20 people received heart transplants.

In an effort to address this, doctors are constantly working on new ways to broaden the donor pool.

The process could help increase the amount of viable donors, which could, in turn, help save more lives. "This is the donor pool actively expanding!", he posted on Twitter.

In addition to meeting health criteria, time plays a significant role in the viability of organs.

Teaser Trailer for Marvel's 'Black Widow' Movie with Scarlett Johansson
It sort of looks like a Mission: Impossible movie, with the combination of spy story and large scale action. Scarlett Johansson returns as Black Widow and the new teaser is prepping us for some extreme action.

The tissue constituting the heart starts to die soon after the organ stops beating, making it unusable.

Heart tissue usually begins to deteriorate even before a patient has been declared dead due to low oxygen levels produced by the slowing heart.

That's why, before now, vital organs - meaning those necessary to life - such as the heart had to be taken from a donor who is still alive, but has been declared medically brain dead.

Historically, the best defense against the heart's decay has been keeping the organ at very cold temperatures. Incredibly, the heart can be preserved and kept beating for up to eight hours after being removed from the donor.

Nurtured once more, the heart muscle is 'reanimated, ' and jumps back into action.

Jacob Schroder, MD, who performed the procedure at Duke and is surgical director of Duke's heart transplant program in the department of surgery, said in the release that DCD has "the potential to expand the donor pool by up to 30 percent", adding, "Increasing the number of donated hearts would decrease the wait time and the number of deaths that occur while people are waiting".

The process - called donation after circulatory death (DCD) - was performed for the first time in the US on a military veteran, who received a heart transplant on December 1.

Proof of concept that doctors here can do the procedure, Dr Schroder hopes, will mean more hearts will be viable for more patients.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.