'Heart in a box': U of A research could revolutionize heart transplants
A team at the University of Alberta hopes to save more lives by saving more donated hearts.
Currently, one in every three patients dies while waiting for a heart — a frustrating statistic, especially considering that up to 80 per cent of donated hearts are not usable for transplant because they’re too weak or damaged. The fact that donated hearts are normally stored on ice, which can damage them even more, doesn’t help. Darren Freed of the Mazankowski Institute has designed an ex-vivo system to keep the heart pumping for up to six hours outside of the body.