First circulatory death human heart transplant by Australian doctors


The St Vincent’s Hospital Heart Lung Transplant Unit has carried out the world’s first distant procurement of hearts donated after circulatory death (DCD). These hearts were subsequently resuscitated and then successfully transplanted into patients with end-stage heart failure.

Transplant Units until now have relied solely on donor hearts from brain-dead patients whose hearts are still beating. The use of DCD hearts, where the heart is no longer beating, represents a paradigm shift in organ donation and will herald a major increase in the pool of available hearts for transplantation.

This portable OCS technology will help significantly in mitigating the significant disparity that remains between the increasing number of patients with end-stage heart failure on the transplant waiting list and the number of suitable donor-hearts that are available. Whilst the use of DCD organs has already made an enormous positive impact on liver, kidney and lung transplantation, it has to date not been possible to use DCD hearts. This is the first time internationally that human heart transplantation has been achieved with hearts donated following circulatory death and procured at a distance with portable organ preservation technology.

According to St Vincent’s Heart/Lung Transplant surgeon and Victor Chang Institute researcher, A/Professor Kumud Dhital, who performed both transplants, “It is interesting to note that DCD hearts were utilised for the first wave of human heart transplants in the 1960’s with the donor and recipient in adjacent operating theatres. This co-location of donor and recipient is extremely rare in the current era leading us to rely solely on brain dead donors — until now.”

Source by : Science Daily News

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