Transmedics, a medical device manufacturer based in Andover, Massachusetts, demonstrated its new Organ Care System at the Ronald Reagan Medical Center. The company’s new medical device is designed to function as a “breathing lung” during organ transplant. The new system has many advantages over traditional organ transportation methods.
Donor organs are usually chilled or frozen in a specialized cooler filled with ice. However, Transmedics’ Organ Care System maintains donated organs in an oxygen-rich environment at body temperature. The device was used to successfully transplant donated lungs for a 57-year-old male. To transport the donated lungs, doctors placed the organs in the specialized OCS box after removal. Once in the box, the lungs were perfused in oxygen. The lungs were monitored for temperature and other information.
With OCS technology, surgeons have the potential to improve donated lung function before implantation. This can reduce surgery times and may improve healing rates. In addition, the OCS gives healthcare providers the ability to assess organ quality before implantation. Since the system can maintain organs in good health for an extended time, the OCS gives organ recipients access to a wider pool of potential donors.
Dr. Abbas Ardehali is the director of the heart and lung transportation program at the Ronald Reagan Medical Center. In a prepared statement, he said, "Organs were never meant to be frozen on ice." He continued, "Lungs are very sensitive and can easily be damaged during the donation process.” With OCS, transportation issues and organ degradation may be a problem of the past.