Nancy Bloch, 60, of Wstchester, N.Y., is now the second patient to successfully undergo a new experimental approach to lung transplantation at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital.
Where usually lungs are checked while in the donor’s deceased body and removed when deemed viable, lungs in this new approach are removed and placed in a transparent case.
In the old way of doing things, the lungs are stored in cold temperatures over a short period of time and transplanted to the recipient.
In the new technique, also called as “ex vivo” or outside the body, the lungs are removed from the donor, placed on a transparent case, hooked to a pump and ventilator, and nourished with nutrients, antibiotics and pumped with oxygen. The lungs are monitored up to four hours before transplanted.
With a lot of patients waiting for lung transplant, this new technique has the potential to double the number of transplants performed.
Doctors warned though that the medical risks of ex vivo transplants are the same withe traditional technique. Recovery time is also the same. This time, however, anyone who needs a heart transplant can possibly qualify for the procedure.
Bloch is still recovering and was asked to give up gardening to avoid exposure to bacteria that may be detrimental to her new lungs.
Who needs gardening with this new lease of life.