“Heart in a box” can save distant donors


Sarah Collins
Health Day reporter

Thursday, April 8, 2021 (HealthDay News)-A few days after his 74th birthday, Don Stivers received his dream gift-a new gift heart.

He explained: “I was born with a bad heart.” “When I grew up, I decided to overcome the challenge, go to the Olympics and become a strong boy. So everything I did was against the doctor’s orders. They said not to run , Don’t do this, but no matter what I do, I will turn blue and faint, and my mother will revive me.

At the University of California, Los Angeles, the struggler became a high jumper. He did not participate in the Olympics, but he has remained active for many years, including hiking, playing softball, running, swimming and cycling.

When he was about 58 years old, the California native began to have energy. On a particularly difficult day, Stivers’ wife drove him four hours to a hospital in Santa Barbara, where he was diagnosed with ventricular fibrillation.

carry on

Since then, a cardioverter defibrillator has been implanted in his chest to help his heartbeat stay normal. He experienced it six times in total.

Steves said: “Then, the last one, the wires severely tore the tricuspid valve, making the heart very sad.” “My cardiologist sent me to Cedars-Sinai because they couldn’t repair the heart. So i’m over [going to the cardiology] The team, they said: “In your case, take the road of transplantation.”

Stivers, a land surveyor, is not a typical candidate for newcomers.

Dr. Dominic Emerson, Associate Surgery Director of Heart Transplantation and Mechanical Circulation Support at the Smidt Heart Institute in Cedars-Sinai said: “We have performed more adult heart transplants in Cedars than any other center in the country or the world. In this way, we are Can expand the range of people who can be transplanted. Therefore, Don is not listed in some places because of his age, and then because of his figure [he is 6 foot, 4 inches tall], The number of organs he can harvest is even less. “

carry on

For Stivers, fortunately, Cedar-Sinai’s Heart Institute hopes to use new technology to expand its donor base.

Employees are preparing to perform another mission at Van Nuys Airport in California.

TransMedics’ organ care system (commonly known as “Heart in a Box”) allows organs to live longer outside the body, which means that hospitals can find a larger geographic reach for potential donors.

Traditionally, organs are placed on ice, for example, the heart can only survive here for about four hours. The US Food and Drug Administration is currently reviewing the “heart in a box” technology, which connects organs to portable devices that mimic their behavior in the human body.

Cedars-Sinai participated in some “out of the box” trials within the normal geographic area of ​​the hospital. However, when the surgeons received a call from Hawaii about the young, athletic and strong heart, they rushed to Van Nuys Airport.

At dinner time on March 1, Stivers received a call.

carry on

“We found matches,” a hospital employee told him. “When the donor’s heart is restored, you should be here.”

The breeder and his wife arrived at the hospital around midnight, and the operation started for a few hours. The operation was successful and Stivers became the first person on the mainland to be welcomed by Hawaii.

Stevens recalled: “After the surgeon put it in, he spit out a little and said,’Trust me, you have a perfect heart.’

Stivers estimates that there are still 6 to 12 months to live with his old heart, which has exceeded his recovery expectations. He and his wife, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren expressed gratitude for the extra time.

Stivers said: “I look forward to jumping off the cliff, swimming, biking, hiking and doing things.” “I am 74 years old this year, but my head is only 24 years old.”

Now, he has a different heart.

More information

Visit Johns Hopkins Medicine for more information heart transplant.

carry on

Source: Don Stivers, a heart transplant recipient in Sanhe, California; Dominic Emerson, MD, Deputy Director of Heart Transplantation and Mechanical Circulation Support, Smidt Heart Institute, and Co-Director of the Intensive Care Unit at Cedars-Sinai Cardiac Surgery, Los Angeles


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