Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

New Technique Developed to Boost Survival Chances of Heart, Kidney Transplant Patients

New Technique Developed to Boost Survival Chances of Heart, Kidney Transplant Patients

Tuesday, 24 December, 2019 - 07:15
This Friday, Feb. 21, 2014 photo shows organ donation paperwork at Mid-America Transplant Services in St. Louis. (AP)

A Russian research team announced successful tests of a new technique that allows the preservation of human organs needed for transplantation for a four-time longer period than the currently used methods.

The findings would help transfer organs from donors to recipients regardless of the time and distance factors.

According to the current standards, an organ such as the heart can be preserved in a special liquid and within a specified temperature for 4 - 6 hours, the liver 12 - 15 hours, and the kidney 16 hours, or a maximum of 24 to 30 hours. Therefore, the life of a patient who needs a heart transplant depends on finding a donor in a close region, so the organ can be preserved and transferred on time.

Unfortunately, most of the times, the organ cannot be used if the patient who needs it lives in another city. The tests carried out by the Russian team have focused on addressing this challenge by creating new conditions that maintain the organs' vital signs for a longer period.

A member of the team said the experiments firstly conducted on hearts taken from frogs and rats, then sheep, proved that the new technique can preserve a transplantable heart for a four-time longer period.

He also explained that the technique uses a "preservative gas", while the current technique uses preservative liquids.

The researchers plan to continue their experiments in 2020, and hope to achieve results that allow them to use their technique and its potential additional benefits to ease the transplant of any organ to any patient regardless of the distance separating him from the donor.

Editor Picks