Tampa general hospital to use new organ transplant system: first in Florida

Tampa general hospital is the first one in Florida to use complex and sophisticated organ transplant system. It is particularly designed to save lives by increasing the number of donated hearts, livers, and various other organs.

Features of the system

This system can maintain organs for a longer period of time. This feature helps to save lives across a wider geographical area. The first lung transplant at Tampa general hospital took place in the month of October 2019. Another important feature is that it can keep the heart beating for a much longer period outside the human body. It can help in transporting organs to other areas as well.

Tampa general hospital is the only hospital in Florida which studied seriously about the process for three organs using organ care system technology  As a part of a trial; the general hospital has conducted five liver transplantations. However, organ care system technology (OCS) uses a different approach. It stores and transports body organs at near body temperature.

How do OCS work, and how is it different?

In earlier machines, they use traditional cooling to preserve organs. It takes several hours. Moreover, the organs do not function when they are preserved. Just as the mechanism happening in our body, nutrients, blood flow through the organs. So instead of exactly preserving them, they are allowing it to function inside the machine. The heart continues beating, whereas the liver produces bile, which is an essential component.

How is OCS saving more lives compared to the earlier method?

Previously, lungs are stored and transported using traditional cooling only from a brain dead person. But OCS also considers transplantations from the deaths due to cardiac arrest. Now, Tampa general hospital carried out more than 10000 organ transplantations. It is expanding the available donors with the highest quality of care.

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Maheswari Kannapureddy

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