In a medical first, Australian surgeons have successfully transplanted hearts that had stopped beating — an advance that could change the way organs are donated.
Until now, transplants have always used the still-beating hearts of donors who have been declared brain dead. But Sydney's St Vincent's Hospital and the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute have developed a technique which allows hearts that had stopped beating for 20 minutes to be resuscitated and transplanted into a patient, Medical Xpress
Three people have received hearts through the new technique.
"They are the only three in the world," said surgeon Kumud Dhital, M.D., an associate professor at the University of New South Wales in Sydney.
"We know that within a certain period of time the heart, like other organs, can be reanimated, restarted, and only now have we been able to do it in a fashion whereby a heart that has stopped somewhere can be retrieved by the transplant team, put on the machine... and then [surgeons can] transplant it."
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