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Sunday 20th May 2018

Patient received pioneering lung op

30th October 2008

Surgeons have carried out a transplant operation using lungs from a donor which were kept breathing outside the body.

Details of the 14-hour operation, which was conducted at the University Hospital of South Manchester, have only just been made public.

The lungs were removed from a dead donor and then the hospital's transplant team used a machine to pump them with blood and oxygen to keep them healthy for a longer period than they would normally survive outside the body.

The organs were then monitored and found to be of high enough quality to use safely in a transplant. Previously, lungs could only be tested for suitability for transplant while they were still inside living donors in intensive care.

Doctors say that the technique will mean that more lungs could be made available and help 25% more patients each year who need a transplant.

The operation - called ex-vivo - has previously been used in Sweden, but this is the first time it has been used outside that country.

The hospital’s director of transplant Nizar Yonan said the patient was making excellent progress and was an example of how this procedure "benefits patients who may otherwise have died waiting for a transplant due to the national shortage of lungs."

He added: "We have around 30 patients who have consented to be transplanted using ex-vivo organs and I am confident that many lives will be saved using this technique."

The recipient, named as 55-year-old plastics factory worker Kenneth Collins from Chirk, Wrexham, suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.


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