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Posted on January 7, 2009 at 1:24 AM

As reported in TIME, researchers from the University of Groningen have found a new method to keep organs from cadaveric donors better preserved for transplant. Better than simply tossing them on ice in coolers, organs that were perfused, or had a cold blood-like substance pumped through them while they were waiting to be transplanted, had a longer survival rate at one year and and just a few weeks post-transplant.

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The difference in terms of survival was only 4% between perfused and iced kidneys, so we aren’t talking about a big difference in terms of outcome, but in terms of the money saved from these 4% of patients who do not have to be on dialysis–that is a significant cost savings. Moreover, the authors argued that as the technology is perfected and more widely used the need for living donation could be decreased–thus not having to harm living donors.

Summer Johnson, PhD

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