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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.

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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.