When organs are donated and transported to recipients the normal course of action is to pack the organ in ice prior to transport. This method of transport can be problematic because of the short window of time an organ can be kept on ice. Many patients die every year due to this bottleneck. That might change in the future as devises by TransMedic (created specifically for the heart, lungs, and soon liver and bowels) become available. These devices maintain body temperature and the organ’s natural processes as it is transported to surgery thereby prolonging the time the organ can be kept outside of the body and possibly reducing complications. Basically these devices recreate the internal environment of the donor’s body up until transplantation. Devices for the heart and lungs are currently in use by the medical community in Europe and Australia. The heart and lung machines are awaiting approval by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States.
About the Illustration: Watercolor pastels and charcoal
For More Information:
HEARTWARMING STORY: DEVELOPING A BETTER WAY TO PRESERVE ORGANS. Newsweek. BY Stav Ziv. 8/14/16
Donated organs kept ‘alive’ may ease the transplant shortage. Washington Post. By Lenny Bernstein. 5/22/16