UK & World News
Liver Transplant Patients Offered New Hope
The world's first machine which can keep livers alive outside the body is offering transplant patients new hope.
About 8,000 people are currently waiting for a liver transplant in the UK and every year 100 die before they get the operation.
The new portable device, created by Oxford University, is about the size of a shopping trolley and can keep a donor organ alive for more than 24 hours.
It mimics the body, pumping red blood cells into the organ, monitoring the temperature and oxygen levels.
It has already been used by King's College Hospital in two successful operations.
Ian Christie, 62, from Devon was the first person to benefit from the so-called miracle machine.
He said: "I feel better than I've felt for 10 to 15 years, even allowing for the pain and wound that's got to heal.
"I'm getting better and better day by day."
Currently, organs have to be kept in ice which can damage them and mean some operations fail.
One benefit of the new technology is that livers could be repaired before being put into a patient
One of the machine's inventors, Professor Constantin Coussios, from Oxford University, said: "It was astounding to see an initially cold grey liver flushing with colour once hooked up to our machine and performing as it would within the body.
"What was even more amazing was to see the same liver transplanted into a patient who is now walking around."
Some 20 more operations need to be carried out before the pilot trials are complete.
A further 35 patients have already given their consent to the procedure.
It is unclear how much the machine will cost but inventors hope if it is successful not only could it be rolled out across Europe but it could also be used on other organs.
Hello, regular commenting on Orange News and Sport pages closes on Thursday 30 May 2013. We will continue to provide a commenting facility on major news and sport events on orangeworld.co.uk. Contact us via http://oran.ge/OWfeedback if you have any further questions. Thanks.
what do you think?
This is fantastic news, never ceases to amaze me the progress in the medical world.....
Its amazing. Medical science just seems to get more and more advanced by the day. The only thing that worries me is that through out history there have been occurences where medical advancement has suddenly taken a nose dive. Maybe this could of been down to the lack of infomation available to surgeons and the like at the push of a button. Like we have today. Some of the things ive been reading recently are mind blowing if fun.ding is granted to them. Microchip implants that help the blind to see, prosthetic limbs that can give the wearer the sense of touch back. And then theres the study that 14 hiv patients are in remission due to them being given treatment early on, as well as that baby being cured. From a disease that when i was a child would of been a death sentence at any stage.