December 20, 2008

Canadian doctors change lung transplants

A team of doctors in Canada has pioneered a procedure that preserves human lungs outside the body for up to 20 hours.

The surgeons at Toronto General Hospital helped devise a procedure that allows lungs to be preserved and nourished outside of a human body three times longer than ever before possible, The (Toronto) Globe and Mail reported Friday.

A lot more patients will be able to receive a lung transplant and not die waiting, said Chris Jaynes, product manager with Vitrolife, a Colorado company that supplied the Toronto team with some of the materials needed to perform the transplants.

With the new technique, instead of cooling the lungs after being removed from a donor, doctors place the organs within a clear bubble-like container that keeps them sterile and mimics the warm and humid conditions of the human body.