Doctors bring a DEAD heart ‘back to life’ by pumping it full of oxygen, blood and electrolytes in groundbreaking procedure that could save the lives of thousands waiting for an organ transplant

  • Duke University doctors have re-animated a heart after its donor died in a first for the US 
  • Every day, 20 Americans die waiting for donated organs  
  • Worldwide, there is a constant shortage of donor organs, and many go to waste because they can’t be transplanted quickly enough 
  • Typically a donor heart must be harvested from a brain dead donor whose heart is still beating to keep the tissue from dying too fast 
  • Now, doctors can use a technique called warm perfusion to reinvigorate the organ with blood, oxygen and electrolytes 
  • It was first done in the UK ion 2015, and Duke has now become the first US hospital to complete a donation after cardiac death heart transplant  

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