Harefield Hospital has pioneered the use of artificial hearts which allow patients with advanced heart failure to lead relatively normal lives while waiting for a heart transplant
Organ Care Systems
Organ Care Systems (OCS) (also known as ‘Heart in a Box’) keep recently donated hearts and lungs warm and pulsating during transportation, and unlike conventional transportation methods, which rely on ice preservation, can keep an organ suitable for transplantation for up to 12 hours, rather than the usual 3 hours.
Harefield Hospital has two OCS machines (one for hearts and one for lungs), which has allowed for organs from as far away as Scotland to be brought to the hospital.
However, in order to keep risk of infection to a minimum, every transportation requires a new, disposable ‘kit’ to connect the organ to the Care System unit.
During 2014/15, the Charity, thanks to its generous donors, was able to buy 11 of these kits for the benefit of seriously ill patients urgently needing transplants at Harefield.
Find out more about OCS by watching the video below:
WARNING: Not for the squeemish!