May Increase Availability of Donor Livers
Patients who need a new liver to survive must hope that they are one of
the approximately 13,000 liver transplant recipients in the United
States and Europe each year. But with 30,000 people on waiting lists,
and with only ice keeping livers for transplantation viable for up to 14
hours, the odds are not always in the patients’ favor. Each year, more
than 2,000 livers don’t survive the journey to their new home.
“Preserving organs by cooling them down is far from perfect,” said
Peter J. Friend, MD, director of transplantation surgery, Nuffield
Department of Surgical Sciences, Oxford Transplant Centre, U.K.
“Although cooling the organ on ice slows its metabolism by a factor of
10, the liver continues to metabolize slowly and deteriorates as a
result. It’s hard to tell which organs will work and which ones won’t.”
Labels: external device, liver transplant, mortality, Research and Discoveries