When a heart needs to be sent somewhere for an urgent transplant, every second counts. Thankfully, there’s been a groundbreaking advancement that can significantly help anyone waiting for a transplant.
Called “Donation after Cardiac and Circulatory Death”, this new organ transport technology is capable of recovering hearts and lungs that otherwise wouldn’t have been suitable for transplant, while also doubling the time organs can spend in transport.
With this new technology, hearts can now be transported up to 8 hours, greatly increasing the odds that a recipient will receive them in time. In some cases, the device is even capable of reviving a completely stopped heart.
All of these improvements are critical when just a minor logistical delay in organ transportation can literally mean the difference between life and death. According to a new report from Kaiser Health News, between the years 2014 and 2019, nearly 170 organs could not be transplanted and almost 370 endured “near misses” after delays of 2 hours or more due to transportation problems.
While kidneys and pancreases were the most likely to endure these delays due to their transportation logistics, heart transplants were still vulnerable as well. With this new technology, however, heart transplant recipients can rest a little easier knowing their life-saving delivery is safe, and hopefully the technology can advance to help other organs soon.