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A ‘breakthrough in organ preservation’: Study shows keeping livers warm helps preserve them for transplant

For decades, organs being readied for transplants have been put on ice for preservation. A new technology does the opposite: It keeps them warm — and may help transform the transplant…
For decades, organs being readied for transplants have been put on ice for preservation. A new technology does the opposite: It keeps them warm. Source: Molly Riley/AP

For decades, transplant surgeons have treated organs as if they were beers for a camping trip: You just pack them in a cooler and hit the road.

But livers, it turns out, aren’t much like lagers, and might benefit from a different sort of travel. The alternative that researchers have come up with is a machine designed to mimic the environment of the human body, keeping the organ warm and breathing as it’s being shuttled from donor to recipient. Now, after comparing the two, a team has shown that this contraption not only kept livers safer for longer than cold storage, but also allowed surgeons to transplant organs that might otherwise have been thrown

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