A donor heart has beat outside the body for 10 hours thanks to a new invention.
Approximately 5,000 heart transplants are performed around the globe annually, and although this form of surgery has become more efficient and routine, delivering donor organs has always been a race against time.
Iranian Professor Abbas Ardehali, head of Heart and Lung Transplant Ward in UCLA Hospital in the US, has managed to invent a device to keep donated organs alive outside of the human body for a longer period.
The new device preserves hearts for up to 10 hours after people have died, and could therefore dramatically increase the number of organs that can be donated.
Ardehali said the donated heart can stay alive for a maximum six hours outside of the human body in ice, which makes the surgery more complicated when the donated organ is to be transferred from long distances.
“I invented a device which helps preserve the donated heart for longer hours, which is about nine hours and 56 minutes and may increase to even 24 hours,” he said.
He referred to the device as a revolution in the field of heart transplant surgery, saying that it increases the survival rate among those suffering from heart failure.
“The invention of the new device is done for the first time in the world and no such thing has already been registered in the history of medical sciences,” Ardehali said.
“My device pumps blood through human hearts, allowing them to stay warm and survive longer during transport. This can help a donated heart stay alive for 10 hours outside the human body.”
The device has been approved by FDA. Other nations will be able to use the technology in the near future.