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Medicine Technology

Sensor Predicts Which Donated Lungs Will Fail After Transplant 21

the_newsbeagle writes: A lung transplant can be a life-saving intervention—but sometimes the donated lung stops working inside the recipient's body. This "graft dysfunction" is the leading cause of death for transplant patients in the early days after surgery. While lab tests can look for genetic biomarkers of inflammation and other warning signs in a donated lung, such tests take 6-12 hours in a typical hospital. That's too slow to be useful. Now, researchers at University of Toronto have invented a chip-based biosensor that can do quick on-the-spot genetic tests, providing an assessment of a lung's viability within 30 minutes.
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Sensor Predicts Which Donated Lungs Will Fail After Transplant

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  • I wouldn't mind having a blurb or QR code on my driver license that says which of my organs are most likely to be viable.

    • My (layman's) understanding is that viability is a factor of interaction between the recipient and the donor organ, not merely a function of the donor, so would be tricky to label ahead of time.

      For grafts where they have the luxury of (relatively) large amounts of time, and a non-fatal donation process(like bone marrow), they will screen for recipient/donor suitability ahead of time; but for donor organs where the donor is supposed to die first, time is very, very, limited and supplies are extremely tigh
      • Ischemic time (the time a lung can survive outside the body) is about four hours. Lungs are also delicate. I'll also add: the survival rate for lung transplants is atrocious. Not only are they risky at transplant time, but people tend to survive about five years post-, which is about as bad as it gets in transplantation. Disclaimers: 1) My son is a heart transplant recipient. 2) My brother-in-law was a failed lung transplant recipient. 3) I serve in a policy-making role for OPTN, which coordinates all so
        • by Anonymous Coward

          Ischemic time (the time a lung can survive outside the body) is about four hours. Lungs are also delicate.

          I'll also add: the survival rate for lung transplants is atrocious. Not only are they risky at transplant time, but people tend to survive about five years post-, which is about as bad as it gets in transplantation.

          The survival rate is atrocious for some Lung Transplant programs because they don't use quality lungs. Not all. The Cedar Sinai lung transplant program in Los Angeles has a very, very good survival rate because (in their own words) they have quite a high standard on the lungs that they transplant. If they find ANYTHING wrong with the lung that they are about to transplant, they don't proceed with the surgery. I know, because my father got a lung transplant from them and I had to be there for the consultatio

    • The problem I have with donating organs is they only go to financially viable recipients.

      Deliberate choices are made at the time of harvesting which ensure that only those who are likely able to pay will get the organ.

      This makes me angry enough that I removed my donor status from my driver's license.

    • by Trepidity ( 597 ) <delirium-slashdot&hackish,org> on Tuesday September 01, 2015 @12:39AM (#50434061)

      That's exactly the point of this, isn't it? The article says (bold added): "The new sensor can predict, before transplantation, which donated lungs will malfunction."

      According to the article, the previous tests took too long, so by the time test results came back, the lung would no longer be viable to transplant. This one can get results faster, so surgeons can wait around 30 minutes before deciding whether to go ahead with the transplant or not.

  • I hope these facts are not true.
  • by tomhath ( 637240 ) on Tuesday September 01, 2015 @06:57AM (#50434941)
    If the chip wasn't made on a 3D printer and paid for with bitcoin this story shouldn't be on slashdot.

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