Doctors successfully brought a dead heart back to life

Doctors pump new life into dead donor heart in US first

But while this was the first DCD heart transplant to be completed in the U.S., the method has been used a number of times in the United Kingdom since 2009, with DCD donation now representing 39% of all deceased organ donors, per the Mirror.

A human heart was transplanted for the first time ever in 1967 in South Africa.

"This is the donor pool actively expanding!" wrote Jacob Niall Schroder, director of the heart transplantation program at Duke University Medical Center.

Once reestablished, the organ was immediately transplanted to a patient in need of a healthy heart, which would have been a success. The introduction of hearts ito this list will change the lives of many people waiting for a transplant.

The whole procedure is so delicate that when the donor dies, the organs tend to become either unusable or damaged, rending the organs unusable.

Still others may be cast aside based on their donors' medical histories, lifestyles or infections they've contracted.

On Sunday, Duke University doctors revived the heart from the deceased donor using an artificial circulatory mechanism, according to the New York Post.

The method could expand the donor pool - which is now facing a shortage - "up to as much as 30 [percent]", he added, noting this could subsequently "decrease wait list time, deaths on the wait list, with excellent survival results".

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By the time a heart stops naturally, it is already been running on a low supply of oxygen, that the tissue has been dying before circulatory death could be proclaimed.

Historically, the best defence against the heart's decay has been keeping the organ at very cold temperatures.

But when docs can as an alternative get a coronary heart beating once more after eradicating it from the donor's physique, the organ shall be "alive" as soon as extra, unbiased of the one who has died.

Previously, a heart would be harvested from a living donor who had been declared medically brain-dead.

Nurtured once more, the heart muscle is 'reanimated, ' and jumps back into action. This modern approach was first carried out in 2015 by surgeons at the Royal Papworth Hospital, in Cambridge, UK.

The breakthrough operation saw surgeons at Duke University's Division of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery complete the first adult "donation-after-death" (DCD) transplant in the US.

Proof of concept that doctors here can do the procedure, Dr Schroder hopes, will mean more hearts will be viable for more patients.

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