"Dead Heart" Transplants Could Change Everything We Know About Organ Donation

People who need heart transplants could benefit a whole lot from this new way of doing transplant surgery.

Surgeons in Sydney, Australia, have performed heart transplant surgeries where the donor organ was a heart that had stopped beating.

This medical breakthrough could essentially be a huge game changer for the doctors, patients and donors involved in heart transplants.

Three people who needed heart transplants had their needs met without going through the agony of being on a donor waiting list. There is a lot of guilt and a lot of policies that must be followed, which make the process of donating (and accepting) organs quite emotionally exhausting.

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This is a success story because of the combined research efforts of St. Vincent’s Hospital and Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, which resulted in the creation of a special preservation solution. The surgeons used "DCD hearts," meaning they were donated after circulatory death. The hearts were usable because they were treated with the preservation solution. 

The three patients, who received hearts that had stopped beating for 20 minutes, are recuperating well, according to latest reports.

The agony of donor transplants falls on both patients and doctors, so this is very well-received news within the medical community.

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