Mayo Clinic doctors are using the Organ Care System, also known as “heart in a box.”

Mayo Clinic doctors are using the Organ Care System, also known as “heart in a box,” to improve the lives of people suffering from congestive heart failure and other chronic heart conditions. This innovative system has the potential to expand the donor pool, which is crucial as over 4,000 people in the U.S. are currently waiting for a new heart. Dr. Lisa LeMond, a Mayo Clinic cardiologist, explains that the system revives donated hearts by perfusing them with warm, oxygenated blood, allowing the organ to start beating again. The Organ Care System can preserve the donated hearts for up to 12 hours, compared to the previous method of transporting them on ice in a cooler, which only allowed for about four hours of preservation.

With this new technology, Mayo Clinic is improving transplant surgeries and providing a lifesaving gift to organ recipients. Heart transplants are performed in patients with conditions such as weakening of the heart muscle, coronary artery disease, heart valve disease, and congenital heart defects. The ability to extend the preservation time of donated hearts with the Organ Care System may significantly increase the number of successful heart transplants and save more lives.

Innovation in preserving and transporting donor hearts is crucial due to the limited availability of suitable hearts for transplantation. By utilizing the heart in a box system, medical professionals are making significant strides in tackling the shortage of donor organs and meeting the needs of patients who could potentially qualify for a heart transplant.

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