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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


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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