Heart Transplant

Heart Transplant

The first heart transplant using a "dead heart" was performed by surgeons in Australia, in October 2014.

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The world's first transplant of a "dead heart" has taken place in Australia, where doctors say that the surgical technique could significantly increase the number of potential donor organs.

The heart had stopped beating, and instead of being chilled after removal from the donor, it was revived and kept warm by a specialized procedure to keep it beating outside the body until the transplant operation.

Normally, hearts are kept beating inside the body of a brain-dead donor using life-support, but this puts a time limit on how long they can be kept as the organs can soon deteriorate, especially when they stop beating after they are removed.

Researchers at St Vincent's Hospital in Sydney and the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute managed to revive hearts that had stopped beating for up to 20 minutes, in what they termed a "paradigm shift" in transplant procedures that could increase the pool of donor organs.

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