DCD Heart Recipient Recovering Well

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One of the first patients in the UK to receive a heart transplant from a donor after circulatory determination of death (DCDD aka DCD), is recovering well.

Lee Hall, a 26 year old electrician, who lives with his wife and one-year-old son, developed heart failure at the age of 14. The heart failure was linked to chemotherapy Lee had received during childhood to treat leukemia. Until recently, the UK, like the US, did not recover hearts from DCDs, medically suitable hearts were only recovered from brain dead donors for transplant. A pioneering new method of organ recovery (see blog posting on March 27th) now means that surgeons in the UK can also consider hearts for transplantation from DCDs. So far, only Harefield Hospital in north-west London and Papworth Hospital in Cambridge, are the only hospitals to have conducted this type of heart transplant.

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  1. Ernesto A Pretto  September 9, 2015

    This opens up new possibilities for those on the heart transplant waiting lists. We will continue to see marked improvements in organ resuscitation as donor preconditioning and machine perfusion preservation technology advances. We need to establish partnerships between organ procurement organizations (OPO) and clinical transplantation services in order to organize and engage in prospective randomized multi-center research trials to explore new therapies for organ resuscitation. This should include Anesthesiologists. The goal is to develop targeted interventions at all 3 critical stages of the perioperative organ transplant cycle, as follows: donor preconditioning, ex-vivo transport with machine preservation, and post conditioning of the recipient at reperfusion. Transplant Anesthesiologists are best suited to deliver perioperative organ resuscitation interventions.


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