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Insulated Transport System Safeguards Transplant Hearts

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 23 Jan 2019
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Image: The SherpaPak cardiac transport system (Photo courtesy of Paragonix).
Image: The SherpaPak cardiac transport system (Photo courtesy of Paragonix).
A new organ transport system protects small adult and pediatric donor hearts on their way to transplant recipients.

The Paragonix Technologies (Braintree, MA, USA) SherpaPak cardiac transport system (CTS) is a single-use storage unit designed to standardize donor heart preservation and transport during triage to the recipient patient. To maintain a cold storage temperature range of 4-8°C, SherpaPak combines an insulated double walled rigid storage canister, non-toxic disposable cold packs, and a cradle to immerse and suspend the heart in a cold storage fluid that provides thermal stability at ambient and extreme temperatures.

Features of the system include an inner organ canister with a volume of four liters, a suspension system that provides both physical and thermal protection to the heart, a real-time preservation temperature sensor, and connectors to cover most aorta sizes, allowing transport of both adult and pediatric hearts. A data logger monitors organ temperature during transport, and a Bluetooth connectivity app monitors, records, and downloads preservation temperature and storage times to handheld devices. The intended organ storage time is up to four hours, but thermal stability has been demonstrated for over 12 hours.

“Our effective product implementation plan, combined with a variety of clinical support tools tailored individually to each transplant center, have resulted in sustained clinical utilization of Paragonix SherpaPak cardiac transport system,” said Bill Edelman, chairman and CEO of Paragonix. “We believe that improving the utilization of donated hearts is critical to patients in end-stage heart failure who are desperate for this precious commodity.”

Approximately 3,500 heart transplants are performed every year in the world, more than half of which occur in the United States. Post-operation survival periods average 15 years.

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