Intermountain Health in Utah Uses New Liver Pump Technology to Shorten Wait Times for Transfers

July 3, 2024
The OrganOx pump allows the donor liver to remain viable for longer periods of time, which reduces the number of donor livers that have to be thrown out and has shortened wait times for patients waiting for a donor.

Intermountain Health in Utah is the first in the state to use a new organ-saving device called the “OrganOx” to “maintain donated livers in a near-physiological state outside the body to enhance successful transplantation.” Their website has the news.

The OrganOx “is an innovative liver pump that provides continuous perfusion of oxygenated blood, medications, and nutrients at normal body temperature and near physiological pressures and flows, mimicking the conditions inside the body.” Jean Botha, medical director of Intermountain Health’s abdominal transplant program, touts the technology as allowing for “the donor liver to remain viable for longer periods of time, extending the time from organ removal to transplant from just hours to more than one day.”

Three dozen patients have been saved by this technology at the Intermountain Medical Center. Their Transplant Program is “the third-fastest growing liver program in the nation,” boasting short wait times and positive outcomes.

Someone is added to the waiting list for a new liver roughly every 10 minutes, and 17 people die every day waiting for a transplant. Additionally, more than 2,000 livers are discarded every year “because they do not survive the typical cold preservation or are damaged by oxygen deprivation.” The OrganOx helps keep the donor organ “perfused and oxygenated outside the body.”

About the Author

Matt MacKenzie | Associate Editor

Matt is Associate Editor for Healthcare Purchasing News.