Surgeons at UC San Diego Health have performed a successful heart transplant from a donor after circulatory death (DCD), the first time such a transplant has been completed on the West Coast.
DCD transplants involve removing the organ within 30 minutes of the donor’s death and connecting it to a machine that perfuses it with warm blood. TransMedics developed the technology used during the procedure.
“When it comes to how organs are procured and preserved from donors, this machine is changing the paradigm for heart transplants,” Victor Pretorius, MBchB, surgical director of cardiac transplant and mechanical circulatory support at UC San Diego Health, said in a statement. “Not only will this increase the number of hearts available for those in need, but it can also optimize the timing of the transplant operation and utilization of operating room resources.”
The transplant was part of an ongoing clinical trial funded by TransMedics. A total of 25 sites throughout the United States are participating in the trial, which is designed to compare DCD heart transplants with more traditional transplants.