Successful donor heart transplants in British teenagers

Successful donor heart transplants in British teenagers

Doctors from the NHS introduced six British teenagers with a donor heart that had already stopped beating. The donor heart was brought back to life by a machine that simulates conditions in the human body.

The British children, ages 12 to 16, were on a waiting list for a heart donor and all during the Corona pandemic He had an operation. It happened in a London hospital.

Donor hearts usually come from patients whose brain has been declared dead, but their heart is still beating. Doctors in Cambridgeshire were able to extract the hearts of donors from the system outside the bodies of the deceased. This was done with the help of a special device, the Organ Care System (OCS).

This device keeps the heart warm, provides it with nutrients, and pumps 1.5 liters of blood from a donor through the heart in a cycle. When the heart was beating regularly again, it was taken to London and implanted in one of the children.

Wait less time

If the heart that has stopped beating can nevertheless be made suitable for transplantation, more transplants may be performed in the future. Those who need a donor heart will likely have to spend less time on the waiting list.

“This means that after death people can donate their hearts in situations where that was not possible before,” said John Forsyth, NHS medical director for organ donation and transplantation.

The method has previously been used with success in adults. The British Health Service describes the app for children as the first of its kind in the world. “That might be fine,” says a spokesperson for the Netherlands Transplant Foundation (NTS). “A lot of research has been done in the UK and Australia in recent years.”

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Dutch doctors want to use this method soon for adults who need a donor heart. It does not yet apply to Dutch children.

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