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World’s First ‘Dead Heart’ Transplant Succeeds, Doctors Expect Increased Donor Hearts

Heart transplant is a conditional and critical process, and the donor heart has to be taken from a person who is only brain-dead, but with the heart is still beating. But the process is not the same anymore. A research team at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney has found out a process to revive a heart which is dead, and then transplanted the heart to a needy patient, which came to a positive conclusion.


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Before this invention, heart used to be the sole organ that lost its usefulness after it stopped beating. The beating-heart would be collected from the dead-body, kept on ice for about four hours, and then would be transplanted to a new body. The process worked splendidly, but there was always a shortage of donor hearts.

With this new process done with the assistance of a machine called ‘Heart-in-a-box’, the researchers took a heart that had stopped beating, and then it was kept warm and heartbeat was returned to it. All the while, a nourishing liquid was supplied so that no muscle of the heart would be damaged.

Then, the first transplant was done about a little more than two months ago onto a patient called Michelle Gribilas, aged 57, and she was suffering from congenital heart failure. Upon asking about her condition, Michelle replied, “Now I’m a different person altogether,” and then she added, “I feel like I am 40 years old – I’m very lucky.”

Prof Peter McDonald, the head of St. Vincent hospital’s heart transplant unit believes that this phenomenon will ensure more donor organs. All the hearts that used to be thrown away previously because of being dead can be revived and used to save many more lives. The number could be as much as 30% more than what is being saved today.

Dead livers are also being transplanted to patients with success, and scientists are looking for more organs that could be revived and used to save thousands of lives.

Source: BBC News

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