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Question:

Does a donor heart have active blood supply during transport?

My question is during the transport of a heart from a hospital to another, does the heart have an active coronary blood supply or is it simply cooled down with no blood supply?

submitted by Hassan from China on 3/1/2013

Answer:

by Texas Heart Institute cardiovascular surgeon, William E. Cohn, MD  

William E. Cohn, MDPrior to transporting the donor heart, all the blood is drained out and it is perfused with ice-cold solution specifically designed to keep the heart protected. It is then packed in ice from the time the heart is removed from the donor until it is beating in the recipient, the duration must be under approximately 5 hours to ensure good results.

Recent research has focused on systems that keep warm oxygenated blood circulating through the heart, and keep the heart beating, however no consensus exists as yet to their merit.

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Updated March 2013
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Texas Heart Institute Heart Information Center
Through this community outreach program, staff members of the Texas Heart Institute (THI) provide educational information related to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cardiovascular disease. It is not the intention of THI to provide specific medical advice, but rather to provide users with information to better understand their health and their diagnosed disorders. Specific medical advice will not be provided and THI urges you to visit a qualified physician for diagnosis and for answers to your questions.
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