Transplant Team at UW Medicine Completes Groundbreaking Surgery

October 3, 2022 08:49:47

Last month, the transplant team at UW Medicine completed the first successful heart transplant in the region. The surgery was coordinated by LifeCenter Northwest, an organ procurement organization. Dr. Maziar Khorsandi led the surgical team during the transplant surgery; Khorsandi is a UW Medicine surgeon who specializes in advanced heart failure and transplants as well as cardiac surgery.

The transplanted heart was a donation-after-circulatory death organ. Donation-after-circulatory-death (DCD) refers to organs and tissues that have been offered for transplant after a patient is pronounced dead by a physician once their respiratory and circulatory functions have stopped. Less than 500 transplants using DCD organs have been done in the United States as of August this year. About 2% of these operations were carried out before 2020.

Experts believe that this new surgery is being done more as the number of patients who need transplants continues to increase and the number of donor organs available remains unchanged. Stacy McKean, LifeCenter Northwest director of organ procurement, stated that the recovery of the DCD organ used was impactful, noting that transplant team members were excited that they could save more lives using this surgery.

Surgeries such as this are now possible due to the technological advancements made in units to preserve organs. These organ-care systems help keep the donated organ functioning by providing oxygen as well as critical nutrients via fluids. The machine that is used to do so is called the TransMedics machine. It was approved in April by the FDA.

Khorsandi explained that organ-care systems allowed healthcare providers to measure markers of heart function and injury throughout the time the organ was in the device, which gave them reassurance that the organ was still in a good physiologic state before the transplant.

A few weeks ago, the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) announced that the national organ donation system in the United States had recorded a million organ transplants since its inception in 1984. Of the one million transplants, about 50,000 of them were performed last year. Experts note that despite the optimism for the future of organ donations given the breakthroughs seen in medicine and technology, organ donation is only possible with a donor.

Dominic Adorno, LifeCenter Northwest VP of clinical operations, stated that they were closer to a future where no patient died while waiting for a transplant. He emphasized that without the donor and the donor family, none of the technological advancements had meaning.

With for-profit firms such as Aditxt Inc. (NASDAQ: ADXT) investing in developing therapies to modulate how the immune system responds to transplanted organs, a lot more people are likely to benefit from the lifesaving transplant procedures such as the one the team at the University of Washington conducted.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Aditxt Inc. (NASDAQ: ADTX) are available in the company’s newsroom at

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