Potential Liver Recipients May Have New Option

Organs harvested after cardiac death appear safe, effective, study says

FRIDAY, June 5, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Livers from donors who suffered cardiac death can be safely and effectively transplanted into patients dying of liver cancer, a new study suggests.

A liver transplant can cure many liver cancer patients, but many die waiting for a liver because most transplant centers use only livers from brain-dead donors. This study tested livers from both brain-dead donors and donors after cardiac death.

Cardiac death does not mean death from heart attack. Because of damaging oxygen loss, someone who dies from a heart attack is not considered a viable donor of organs for transplantation, the researchers said. Instead, cardiac death is controlled in a patient who will donate organs, they explained.