Lungs taken from a dead donor and made to breath through the use of machinery have been successfully transplanted into a 55-year-old man in a pioneering operation.
Kenneth Collins from North Wales had the ex-vivo, or outside the body, procedure during a 14-hour operation at the University Hospital of South Manchester.
The hospital’s transplant team removed lungs from the donor and pumped them with blood and oxygen to keep them healthy for a longer period than they would normally survive outside the body.
The lungs were then monitored and judged to be of a high enough quality to use safely in a transplant.
Previously, lungs could only be tested for suitability while they were still inside living donors in intensive care.
The new procedure means many more lungs could become available, benefiting up to 25% more patients in need of a transplant every year.
Mr Collins’ operation was the first time the ex-vivo method has been used in the world outside Sweden.
Nizar Yonan, director of transplant at the hospital, said: “Mr Collins is making excellent progress and is an example of how this procedure benefits patients who may otherwise have died waiting for a transplant due to the national shortage of lungs.”
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