In the UK, heart transplant patients and surgeons are facing multiple problems. According to the BBC, the average wait time for a matching donor heart is more than 1,200 days. The country also has one of the lowest rates of family consent for donation in Europe.
Now, a medical breakthrough could pave the way for twice the number of organ transplants in the UK, as a BBC2 documentary follows the surgeons pioneering a new technology.
Here’s everything you need to know about Heart Transplant: a Chance to Live.
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When is BBC2’s Heart Transplant: a Chance to Live on TV?
Heart Transplant: a Chance to Live will air on Monday 14th May at 9pm on BBC2.
What’s it about?
The show follows patients and surgeons at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle, one of Europe’s leading transplant centres, and it promises the most in-depth look at organ donation and transplants ever broadcast.
The cameras follow the hospital staff as they trial a breakthrough process called ex vivo perfusion, which allows doctors to reanimate organs and keep them alive outside the body as they are transported to the recipient patient. This means that more organs can be sourced from further afield, while also allowing doctors the time to assess an organ’s function, meaning fewer patients will risk organ failure post-transplant.
The extraordinary new technology may see the number of organ transplants carried out in the UK double.