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NMP technology keeps liver alive outside the body

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OrganOx and its exclusive partner in India, Duraent Life sciences have developed a groundbreaking procedure called Normothermic Machine Perfusion (NMP) which will enable doctors to keep liver alive up to 24 hours after its removal from donor’s body.

Newly developed procedure by OrganOx, a company spun out of the University of Oxford, will replace the cold preservation technique.

Responding to the latest development, Dr A S Soin, Chairman and Chief Surgeon, Medanta Institute of Liver Transplantation, and Scientific Advisor to OrganOx (Oxford, UK), said, “The machine is one of the most important advances in organ transplantation in the last 20 years. Livers maintained on NMP prior to transplant will work better, making the transplants safer. This technology will also help in transporting the liver easily from one place to the other as the machine can keep the organ alive for up to 24 hours.”

“Another advantage is that many of the organs that we turned down for transplant purposes due to mild damage, can now be revived using this technology. We hope that with NMP now available in India, 30% more transplants would be possible, with improved results,” Soin further added.

Offering a totally new approach, NMP technology pumps oxygenated blood and nutrients into the liver and helps in overcoming the risk of graft injuries associated with preservation in ice. Being deployed for the first time in India and Asia, the machine will help newly donated livers by brain dead donors to survive longer.

NMP technology

 It will help doctors to test how well they function while on the machine prior to transplant, boosting the chances of successful transplantation.

The first transplant in India took place on last month at Aster CMI Hospital in Bengaluru on a 56-year-old patient. The patient made a quick recovery and was discharged in a couple of weeks.

“Earlier, the harvested livers were flushed with preservation fluid and then stored on ice, at times resulting in damage of the cells, especially when preserved for more than 10-12 hours. With the introduction of this new technology, we believe that doctors will get livers for transplantation without such damage,” Subith Kumar, CEO, Duraent Life sciences, Hyderabad, said.

Key advantages of this new technology:

–  By providing the organ with oxygenated blood and nutrients the donor organ does not degrade over time, unlike the current standard of care of storing the organ in ice.

–    The transplanting team can assess the function of the donor liver before the transplant, this allows some organs to be safely transplanted which may otherwise have been not transplanted.

–    The transplant can happen in the daytime, this is because with the OrganOx metra® the preservation time can be doubled to 24 hrs.

–   The additional preservation time provides the transplanting team with more time to deal with any complications, this may allow some patients to be transplanted who would otherwise not be offered a transplant.

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