Donor lungs, heart safely transported 4,000 miles

A record long-distance lung and heart transplant was made in collaboration with four U.S. transplant centers using a temperature-controlled system to preserve the organs by Paragonix Technologies.

Cambridge, Mass.-based Paragonix assisted in the flight of over 4,000 miles, using its alternative to traditional ice to provide a sterile, temperature-controlled environment for the organs, the company said Feb. 2. 

The 13-hour transport delivered donor lungs from Alaska to North Carolina. In the same transplant, the company's cardiac preservation system enabled the move of the heart from the same donor in Alaska to a patient in a seven-hour trip to Washington state. 

​​“While we consider many factors in selecting a donor, distance is a significant risk factor to moving forward," stated John Haney, MD, assistant professor of surgery at Duke University, one of the transplant centers involved. "Transplant centers around the country are seeking ways to overcome the challenges associated with safely transporting organs farther, and new technologies show promise."

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