Doctors Bring a Dead Heart Back to Life During Groundbreaking Surgery

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Doctors have brought a dead heart ‘back to life’ by pumping it full of oxygen, blood and electrolytes in groundbreaking procedure.

And that could save the lives of thousands waiting for an organ transplant.

U.S. doctors bring dead heart back to life in groundbreaking surgery
U.S. doctors bring dead heart back to life in groundbreaking surgery. Picture via DailyMail

Duke University doctors have re-animated an adult heart after its donor died to transplant it into a person in need of a new organ for the first time in the US.

The surgeons harvested the heart from a dead donor whose blood had already stopped circulating through his body. 

They then used a pioneering technique to run blood back into the disembodied heart, so it would beat once more.

The heart was successfully transplanted into a recipient, a win that suggests far more will be eligible for donation in the future as doctors are able to beat the clock and keep the organ alive for outside of a body.

Every day, 20 Americans die waiting for donated organs. 

Worldwide, there is a constant shortage of donor organs, and many go to waste because they can’t be transplanted quickly enough.

Typically a donor heart must be harvested from a brain dead donor whose heart is still beating to keep the tissue from dying too fast.

Now, doctors can use a technique called warm perfusion to reinvigorate the organ with blood, oxygen and electrolytes.

Anyhow, we need much more organ donors. [Daily Mail]

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