VIDEO: Non-beating heart transplant - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

VIDEO: Non-beating heart transplant

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CAMBRIDGE, England-  For the first time in Europe, surgeons have successfully carried out a heart transplant using a non-beating heart. 

Usually any donor heart must still be beating, but surgeons have developed an innovative technique that can effectively jump start the heart within five minutes of death.  Dr. Stephen Large says, "There are probably about 50 hearts with a very strict criteria, that we have on the program at the moment.  50 donors a year, from the non-heart-beating group, who can contribute hearts to the program. So, that, I am sorry to say, will be a sizeable increase in the national program."

The success of the operation paves the way for a big increase in the number of donor hearts that can be made available. Meryem Ulucan says her husband would not be alive today if he had not received a non-beating heart.  "He just wanted to give it a chance, because he said to me, 'I'm going to die anyway'. I didn't want it, I really didn't want it, but my husband said he was willing to do it. It is heart, his body. He decided, so..."

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