Amazing Heart in a Box Keeps Donated Organs Beating During Transport [VIDEO]

November 10, 2013
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Heart In A Box | Debbie Chesebro, Josh Kurz & Shane Winter from Focus Forward Films on Vimeo.

First published on MedCityNews.com.

This short film is over a year old, but it’s still worth sharing.

Heart In A Box | Debbie Chesebro, Josh Kurz & Shane Winter from Focus Forward Films on Vimeo.

First published on MedCityNews.com.

This short film is over a year old, but it’s still worth sharing.

A semifinalist in GE’s Focus Forward Filmmaking Contest last year, “Heart in a Box” shows a device developed by Transmedics in Andover, Massachusetts, in all of its glory. The device is meant to replace the cooler as a means of keeping organs alive as they’re being transported for transplant. Packed in ice, a heart generally becomes unusable after four to six hours.

But the Organ Care System pumps the donor’s warm, oxygenated blood through the heart while it’s in transit. In the video, you see the heart actually beating outside of the body.

“Most people that see it have a definite emotional reaction,” says Neal Beswick of Transmedics. “It looks like something you should never see.”

The device is in use for hearts and lungs in Europe and is undergoing clinical trials in the United States.

(hat tip: Upworthy)