When it comes to transplanting organs, the timeframe in which an organ remains viable for transplant is pretty small. This window becomes even smaller when it comes to heart transplants as hearts can only be transplanted from a still-living person (usually from donors who have been declared brain dead).

Unfortunately, this creates a problem for those who need a heart transplant as it means that there simply aren’t enough hearts to go around. However, there is some good news because thanks to doctors at the Duke University Medical Center, it seems that they might have successfully managed to bring a dead heart back to life through a technique known as warm perfusion.

This is a technique where the heart is being flushed with warm oxygen-rich blood where it will help bring it back to “life” and making it viable for transplant, even after several hours of it no longer beating. Doctors have since managed to perform a successful transplant into a patient and it also makes it the first time such a procedure has been done in the US.

According to Dr. Jacob Schroder, who performed the procedure, “This procedure has the potential to expand the donor pool by up to 30 percent. Increasing the number of donated hearts would decrease the wait time and the number of deaths that occur while people are waiting.”

Filed in Medical. Read more about and . Source: bgr