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Alan Franciscus
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HCV Advocate
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Sunday, April 7, 2013

Device Keeps Human Liver Alive Outside Body

Apr. 7, 2013 — In a world first, a donated human liver has been 'kept alive' outside a human being and then successfully transplanted into a patient in need of a new liver.

So far the procedure has been performed on two patients on the liver transplant waiting list and both are making excellent recoveries.

The technology, developed at Oxford University and now being trialled at the liver transplant centre at King's College Hospital as part of a controlled clinical investigation, could preserve a functioning liver outside the body for 24 hours. A donated human liver connected to the device is raised to body temperature and oxygenated red blood cells are circulated through its capillaries. Once on the machine, a liver functions normally just as it would inside a human body, regaining its colour and producing bile.

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