Hope from New Organ Transplant Methods

BrotherBesides organ transplants from animals, scientists have high hopes for organ transplants with different blood types or devices that keep the heart working outside the body.

Each year, more than 300 Britons die waiting for a compatible heart. Doctors at the National Health Service (NHS) say there are some less risky, more effective solutions to expand the source of donated organs.

One of all organ transplant with a different blood type. This is considered the most advanced technique in modern medicine, allowing children to receive organs from people who do not have the same blood type.

The technique was performed by surgeons at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital and Great Ormond Street Hospital, London. Essentially, the patient is partially replaced with a donor blood type.

Through the dialysis machine, the doctor will remove antibodies that can attack the donor organ, thereby reducing the risk of transplant rejection. The method does not permanently change the patient’s blood type, but the body will gradually get used to the incompatible organ. The immune system doesn’t attack that organ either.

This technique has not been performed in adults, as mature immune systems are usually more sensitive to foreign factors.

One of the first people in the UK to receive an organ transplant using this method was Lucy, 10 years old. Born with a congenital heart defect, Lucy suffered from epilepsy and was unable to walk even short distances. I was on the transplant waiting list for three and a half years. Finally, in April 2020, I had a heart transplant surgery with a different blood type.

“Since the surgery, she’s been eager to try everything to catch up with her big sister Freya. She didn’t have a normal childhood. Simple things make me feel very happy. Yesterday, she had She can run and jump like any other child. She has never done this before, “said Jenny, her mother.

The Organ Care System, which mimics the human body, can keep the heart beating for 12 hours before implantation. Photo: FDA

The second hope is device that allows doctors to “revive” dead hearts. Usually, surgeons remove hearts from brain-dead patients while the heart is still beating. This ensures the organ is in top condition prior to transplantation.

If the heart stops beating, the condition of the heart rapidly deteriorates, and it cannot be used in transplants because the risks are too high. John Dark, professor of thoracic surgery at Newcastle University, said: ‘The longer the heart stops pumping blood, the greater the chance of damage.

High-tech equipment used in transplant surgery allows doctors to revive stopped hearts, increasing the number of donated organs.

The heart is placed in a sterile chamber, called the Organ Care System, which mimics the human body. Here, it is fed warm blood with oxygen through pumps. The heart will beat again outside the human body, pumping nutrients until it is ready for the transplant.

In February 2020, 15-year-old Anna Hadley became one of the first children to be transplanted using this technique. She was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, a rare condition that causes the heart’s chambers to stiffen.

Her father, Mr. Andrew, said: “Five days after the transplant, I was able to walk up and down the corridor to talk to the medical staff. It was unbelievable.”

However, this method has a drawback. The Organ Care System is quite expensive, costing $42,000 per use, and is deployed only about 30 times a year.

Once removed from the body, the heart is placed on ice. The hypothermic method preserves organs for up to 4 hours. The Organ Care System keeps the heart alive for 12 hours, but the organ begins to fail after 6 to 8 hours.

In early January, David Bennett, 57, became the first patient in medical history to heart transplant from pig. Mr. Bennett’s surgery has become a hope for those in need of an organ transplant.

However, on March 8, Mr. Bennett passed away. The doctor has not announced the direct cause of death, they do not know whether the patient’s body rejected the pig’s heart.

According to transplant surgeons from the NHS, xenotransplant – surgery to transplant organs from animals to humans, contains many risks. It is possible, but not always successful or easy to implement.

Thuc Linh (According to Daily Mail)


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