Beating heart transplant breakthrough
Transplant surgeons have successfully kept a human heart alive and beating outside the body, in an advance that could extend the life-saving operation to scores more patients. The Independent reports that the first successful beating heart transplant was performed in the UK, at Papworth hospital in Cambridgeshire. Surgeons kept the organ pumping blood for five hours after removing it from the donor. The donor heart was kept in a specially designed Organ Care System while it was transported between two hospitals. Doctors say if the system continues to prove successful, it could significantly increase the number of donor hearts available.