Straight up, I’m going to post a warning.
This video includes video of real human organs about to undergo transplant surgery.
If you find images of surgery and human organs hard to view, don’t watch this video. But, please read the rest of this article.
Up until now, if organs were donated, they were transported to a recipient in an ice cooler – we call it an esky in Australia. This plastic box, intended for lunches and picnics, is filled with ice to keep the organ in a suspended state.
What this has meant is that organs, such as the heart, had a six hour window before they were unusable for transplant. Given how rare it is for organs to become available and then find a suitable match, the odds of these much-needed, donated hearts reaching a recipient, was small.
Too small. Donated organs are an incredible gift. The fact that some do not make it to be transplanted is hard to accept.
Think of it this way, we have the technology to transplant a donor organ into another human being but, we couldn’t do better than esky to transport the organ from the donor to the recipient. Something was wrong here. But, this was a huge opportunity for innovation.
Enter the Organ Care System (OCS). This remarkable machine creates a ‘heart in a box’. The heart is kept active, fed and pumping blood. This extends the life of the organ to up to 12 hours. This means more donated hearts will have a chance to reach donors.
This video showcases this remarkable innovation and the passion behind the company that created the OCS. Incidentally, the video is also up for a GE Focus Forward film maker award.
Innovation can change the world. This is one such example.
Heart In A Box | Debbie Chesebro, Josh Kurz & Shane Winter