The Heart Failure Treatment and Transplant Program at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, NJ, performed the region’s first successful heart transplant with a donor heart that was transported in a warm and beating state. The Barnabas Health Heart Center at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center is part of an elite group of U.S. heart transplant centers participating in a revolutionary study of a new organ preservation system that keeps donor hearts beating outside the body during transport.
After the donor heart is placed in the Organ Care System (OCS) device, it is immediately perfused with oxygen- and nutrient-rich donor blood and maintained near body temperature. The OCS also conducts a complete metabolic profile, monitors the condition of the organ and allows physicians to treat the heart with medications if necessary.
“The unit allows us to optimize donor hearts,” said Margarita Camacho, MD, Director of Cardiac Transplantation and Mechanical Assist Devices, who performed the landmark transplant. “Hearts that may have been stunned by an injury can recover and provide good long-term results for recipients. This device can help us make that determination,” she added.
“The medical management of patients who receive the beating hearts is identical to that of patients who are transplanted with donor hearts delivered in the traditional manner,” said Mark J. Zucker, MD, JD, Director of the Heart Failure Treatment and Transplant Program.
Transplant candidates who elect to participate in the study are randomly assigned to the cold static standard of care for organ transport or to the OCS. Regardless of the manor of transport, all the donor hearts are delivered in standard four- to five-hour window. However, Dr. Camacho believes the OSC has the potential to expand the time for transport and enlarge the organ donor pool.
As the third most active heart transplant center in the nation, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center was invited to participate in the Organ Care System (OCS) clinical research trial. The OCS delivers a donor heart in the warm and beating state for transplant.
About the Barnabas Health Heart Center at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
The Barnabas Health Heart Center at Newark Beth Israel was ranked one of the nation’s 50 best in Cardiology and Heart Surgery by U.S .News & World Report’s America’s Best Hospitals for the last three consecutive years. Its Heart Transplant Program is the third most active in the country with outstanding long-term survival rates that consistently meet or exceed national benchmarks. Highly specialized care includes minimally invasive and robotic-assisted cardiac procedures, state-of-the-art technology that provides astounding images of the heart for more precise diagnosis, and the latest generation of ventricular assist devices designed to take over the pumping action for a diseased heart.
Date: May 22, 2012
Contact: Caren Malone
Public Relations Department
Saint Barnabas Health Care System
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