First ‘Dead Heart’ Transplant a Success

A team of Australian surgeons at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney say they have successfully performed the first ever “dead heart” transplant. This means the doctors used a donor heart that had stopped beating, in this case for 20 minutes. Donor hearts from adults usually come from people who can be brain dead, but have a heart that is still beating. Until this operation, the heart was the only organ that was not used after cardiac arrest. The woman who received the heart, Michelle Gribilas, 57, said she felt a decade younger and is now a “different person.” The heart was revived in a machine called a “heart-in-a-box,” and scientists believe the success of this device could allow the saving of up to 30 percent more lives.