Did you know that Almost 400,000 Americans die of lung diseases every year, and over 35 million are now living with chronic lung disease. Medical innovations are coming up with technological advances which are planning on replacing damages lungs permanently. Some examples of lung damages are like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis, or even pulmonary hypertension
Experts believe that many previously rejected donor lungs which were rejected because of damages in them may now be suitable for transplantation thanks to a new approach called ex vivo. Ex vivo is an outside the body lung perfusion which restores a damages lung and makes them suitable to be transplanted into someone that really needs it. It pretty much reverse the lung injury and makes it brand new again, regenerated!
So how does this procedure work…
Well first of all the damaged lungs are removed from a person who has died and is classified as a donor. Their lungs are placed in a bubble-like transparent chamber, and connected to a cardiopulmonary pump and a ventilator. Over a six hour period, the lungs are becoming repaired and assessed back to their normal phase. Special proprietary fluids are forced through the blood vessels and nutrients are used to nourish the lungs as they inflate and deflate as oxygen is pumped through. All of these procedures are made to stimulate the normal behavior of the lungs as if it was still doing its normal job inside someone’s body. In fact, if its necessary, they will literally introduce medicine into the lungs to help clear out any infections present. Once everything seemed clear, and the lungs seemed like they are ready to be used, then transplantation is set for its procedure.
This contributes towards the common good because it increases the availability of quality-tested donor lungs. There are thousands of Americans who need lung transplants but cant because a lot of them get damaged by the time they are trial for use. With the Ex vivo, people with these problems wont have to wait very long to get their new lungs, no more lung transplant standby list and more happy breathing patients!