The Prince Charles Hospital Foundation

Mending Broken Hearts on Valentine's Day

14/02/2016

A ground breaking medical research project hopes to increase the number of hearts available for transplant by 40% by bringing hearts back to life. On Sunday 14th February, a day when people are expressing their love for each other, a team of researchers, surgeons, engineers and nurses came together to begin trials on new technology to make more donor hearts available and also reboot hearts previously not considered viable.

Professor John Fraser from The Prince Charles Hospital Critical Care Research Group says currently, donor hearts are stored and transported on ice, but they do not receive a constant oxygen supply but that’s about to change,” We have been donated an experimental machine from Vivoline (Sweden) that supplies the donor heart with oxygen during storage and transport, while keeping it cold and reducing the amount of work it needs to perform – all of which contributes to reducing donor heart injury”.

“In a country as vast as Australia, time is of the essence. Using these innovative techniques hearts can be retrieved from vast distances. This allows not only more patients to benefit from the generosity of donor’s families and receive transplants but for those transplanted hearts to perform better allowing our patients to live happier and healthier lives”.

“Once we understand the complete potential we will have more hearts available for transplant and hopefully a reduction in deaths in recipients waiting for heart transplants”.

Teams from Prince Charles Hospital, will collaborate with Professor McGiffen’s team from the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne and Professor Peter McDonald’s team from St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney

Find out more here.

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