Transporting a beating heart for transplant – TechKnow


>>WHEN IT COMES TO HEART TRANSPLANTS, IT’S ALWAYS A RACE AGAINST TIME. WE’VE ALL SEEN IT ON TV. WHEN A DONOR HEART BECOMES AVAILABLE, MEDICAL TEAMS MUST MOVE QUICKLY. THE ORGAN IS REMOVED AND PRESERVED BY PLACING IT IN ICE. THE HEART MUST ARRIVE AT THE RECIPIENT’S HOSPITAL WITHIN SIX HOURS THAT’S BECAUSE THE ICE DAMAGES THE HEART MAKING IT UNFIT FOR TRANSPLANT. IN THIS WILL KEEP HEARTS WARM AND BEATING. THIS WILL BE A MAJOR BREAK THROUGH IN TRANSPLANT HISTORY. THE FIRST HUMAN TRANSATLANTIC TOOK PLACE IN A HOSPITAL IN SOUTH AFRICA IN 1967. SINCE THEN IT HAS BECOME A FAIRLY ROUTINE PROCEDURE WITH 2,000 HAPPENING IN THE UNITED STATES. THERE IS ONE ASPECT TO THE PROCESS THAT HAS REMAINED THE SAME. YEP, GETTING THE HEART FROM POINT A TO POINT B STILL INVOLVES PUTTING IT IN COOLER FULL OF ICE. HERE THEY’RE TESTING OUT A NEW DEVICE THAT WILL CHANGE THE WAY ORGANS ARE TRANSPORTED AND MAKE A COOLER A THING OF THE PAST, WELL, AS FAR AS ORGAN TRANSPORT.>>A HUMAN ORGAN HAS NEVER BEEN KEPT ALIVE OUTSIDE OF THE HUMAN BODY UNTIL THIS MACHINE BECAME A CLINICAL REALITY.>>Reporter: THE HEAD OF U LA’S HEART AND LUNG TRANSPLANT PROGRAM.>>TO SAY THAT INSTEAD OF HAVING MY HEART ON ICE, I WANT IT TO BE WARM AND BEATING.>>FOR SOME OF HIS PATIENTS LIKE 44-YEAR-OLD SANDRA AGUILAR, THIS IS A SECOND CHANCE AT LIFE. ♪ SHE SUFFERS FROM A DEB DEBILITATING POSITION, AND HAS BEEN WAITING FOR A HEART SINCE LAST DECEMBER. [ SPEAKING SPANISH ]>>SANDRA DECIDED TO PARTICIPATE IN A STUDY, WHICH IS DESIGNED TO COMPARE THE OUTCOME OF PATIENTS WHO RECEIVE HEARTS THROUGH THE ORGAN CARE SYSTEM AGAINST PATIENTS WHO GET THEIR HEARTS TRANSPORTED ON ICE.>>THE PATIENTS YOU WERE TALKING TO, TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS TRIAL, HOW HAVE THEY RESPONDED TO THAT?>>ONCE THEY FULLY UNDERSTAND THE CONCEPT, WHY DON’T YOU GUYS COME UP WITH THIS SOONER?>>TO DATE, EIGHT OUT OF TEN AVAILABLE DONOR HEARTS NEVER MAKE IT TO A PATIENT IN NEED FOR A VARIETY OF FACTORS, INCLUDING DISTANCE BETWEEN HOSPITALS. THIS WOULD PRESERVE THE HEARTS IN A MORE OPTIMAL ENVIRONMENT.>>WE FEEL VERY CONFIDENT IN THE ORGAN CARE SYSTEM TO DOUBLE THE HEART TRANSPLANT VOLUME.>>WHILE THE FOUNDER AND TRANSMETICS, THE COMPANY THAT CAME UP WITH THE ORGAN CARE SYSTEM, THE EUREKA MOMENT CAME WHILE TRAINING AS SURGEON.>>THE HEART IS JUST THROWN IN A PLASTIC BAG AND THROWN ON ICE. THAT WAS THE FIRST REVELATION THAT THERE HAS TO BE SOMETHING BETTER.>>LEARNING HOW TO USE THE ICE WILL BE STANDARD FOR TRAINING FOR SURGEONS, BUT FOR NOW DOCTORS USE THE HUMAN CARE SYSTEM ON THE CLOSEST THING TO A HUMAN HEART, PIG HEARTS.>>I’VE DISSECTED MY FAIR SHARE OF ANIMALS WITH MY BIOLOGY BACKGROUND, SO I’LL DO MY BEST TO FEEL A BEATING HEART IN THE MACHINE.>>ONCE REMOVED FROM THE DONOR’S BODY THE HEART IS QUICKLY CONNECTED TO THE DEVICE THROUGH THE AORTA. [ HEART PUMPING ]>>THIS IS SERIOUSLY ONE OF THE MOST AMAZING THINGS I’VE SEEN. THERE IS A HEART BEATING RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME.>>IT CONTINUES TO RECEIVE WARM BLOOD AS WELL AS A PROPRIETARY FORMULA OF KNEW NUTRIENTS.>>HOW LONG COULD YOU KEEP A HEART BEATING ON THIS.>>AS LONG AS YOU WOULD LIKE.>>THEY SHOWED ME HOW THE DEVICE AKLAUS CLINICIANS TO MONITOR THE HEARTS’ RHYTHM AND OTHER VITAL SIGNS EVERY STEP OF THE WAY.>>THIS THING LET’S YOU KNOW THAT EVERYTHING IS GOING OKAY?>>ABSOLUTELY.>>WHAT HAPPENS IF ANYTHING GOES WRONG.>>YOU HAVE ALARMS TELLING YOU THAT YOU’RE OUT OF RANGE, AND YOU CAN IMMEDIATELY CONTROL IT, CHANGE PUMP FLOW, CHANGE THE SETTINGS TO TREAT THIS HEART. YOU HAVE A VERY COMPREHENSIVE ANALYSIS OF HOW THIS HEART IS BEHAVING, AND YOU HAVE A CHANCE TO IMPROVE THAT BEHAVIOR WHEN NEEDED.>>SO I HAVE TWO QUESTIONS FOR YOU. ONE, HOW FRAGILE IS THE HEART, AND, TWO, CAN I TOUCH IT?>>ONE, IT’S NOT VERY FRAGILE, TWO, YES, YOU CAN TOUCH IT, BUT IT’S NOT THE NORM DURING CLINICAL PRACTICES. THIS IS A TRAINING HEART TODAY, BY ALL MEANS IF YOU WANT TO FEEL THE VENTRICLE PULSATING, RIGHT SIDE, LEFT SIDE, YOU CAN FEEL THE VESSEL ITSELF SEE THE PRESSURE IN THE VESSEL.>>OH, IT’S WARM.>>IT’S WARM, IT’S BEATING. IT’S FUNCTIONS. IT’S FUNCTIONING AS IF IT’S IN YOUR BODY.>>AND IT’S NOT JUST HEARTS THAT CAN BE TRANSPORTED ON THIS SYSTEM. THERE IS A SIMILAR SYSTEM FOR LUNGS WHICH HAS YIELDED PROMISING RESULTS. SO FAR IT HAS CUT THE COMPLICATION RATE BY 60% AND IMPROVED THE SURVIVAL RATE BY 30%. THIS IS A CLEAN ROOM WHERE THE ORGAN CARE SYSTEM GETS ASSEMBLED. SO FAR HUNDREDS HAVE BEEN MANUFACTURED AND SENT TO EIGHT DIFFERENT COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD. HOPEFULLY NEXT YEAR WITH FDA APPROVAL IT WILL BE AVAILABLE IN THE U.S. WHERE THERE ARE MORE HEART TRANSPLANTS THAN ANYWHERE ELSE IN THE WORLD.>>NOT CONTENT WITH JUST THE PERFECT WAY TO TRANSPORT ORGANS, THEY’RE PARTNERING UP WITH RESEARCH CENTERS ON TESTING CUTTING EDGE THERAPIES WITH THEIR DEVICE.>>WE CAN TAKE OUR LUNG OUT OF A PATIENT SUFFERING FROM SEVERE PNEUMONIA, PUT IT IN THE ORGAN CARE SYSTEM AND SUBJECT THE LUNG TO AN ANTIBIOTICS THAT CANNOT BE GIVE TO THE PATIENT BECAUSE IT WOULD BE. TOXIC, AND THEN WE TRANSPLANT THE LUNG BACK. WE BELIEVE THIS WILL COME TO FRUITION OVER THE NEXT FIVE OR SIX YEARS.>>IT MAY SOUND LIKE SCIENCE FICTION, BUT AGAIN WHEN YOU SEE THE MACHINE WORKING YOU BEGIN TO BELIEVE IT.>>Only on Al Jazeera America>>A team of scientists are taking their inspiration from nature…>>Technology, it’s a vital part of who we are>>They had some dynamic fire behavior…>>…and what we do…>>Transcranial direct stimulation…>>Don’t try this at home…>>TechKnow’s team of experts show you how the miracles of science…>>This is my selfie, what can you tell me about my future?>>…Can effect and surprise us…>>Sharks like affection…>>Catch new episodes of TechKnow on Al Jazeera America check your local listings or visit aljazeera.com

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