Advertisement

How are donated organs preserved?

Just prior to being removed from the donor, each organ is flushed free of blood with a specially prepared ice-cold preservation solution that contains electrolytes and nutrients. The organs are then placed in sterile containers, packaged in wet ice, and transported to the recipient's transplant center. It is important to transport the organs from the donor to each intended recipient as quickly as possible. Hearts and lungs must be transplanted within approximately four hours after being removed from the donor. Livers can be preserved between 12 - 18 hours; a pancreas can be preserved 8 - 12 hours; intestines can be preserved approximately eight hours; kidneys can be preserved 24 - 48 hours.

Continue Learning about Organ Transplants & Health Care

Will organ donation disfigure the body?
Katrina Bramstedt, PhDKatrina Bramstedt, PhD
No, skilled clinicians perform organ donation and the body is closed with sutures ("stitches") just ...
More Answers
Do physicians on the critical care team discuss organ transplants?
Katrina Bramstedt, PhDKatrina Bramstedt, PhD
It depends what country we are speaking about. In USA, the critical care team does not discuss organ...
More Answers
Will We Be Able to Print 3D Organs?
Will We Be Able to Print 3D Organs?
How Do You Grow an Artificial Organ?
How Do You Grow an Artificial Organ?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.