TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa General Hospital is now the first in the state to use new technology that is changing the way organs are transported from donor to recipient.

  • More than 1,000 patients awaiting transplants in Bay area
  • New system provides actual blood flow to donated organ
  • More Health headlines

The new Organ Care System, manufactured by the Massachusetts based company TransMedics Inc., provides actual blood flow to the donated organ, allowing it to keep functioning as though it’s still inside the human body.

"We can connect it to the cartridge and plug in different tubes to the arteries and veins,” said Dr. John Dunning, surgical director for Heart and Lung Transplantation at TGH.

Dunning said the new system will preserve the organs for hours longer.

"We think with the lung we can extend it to 12-18 hours without problems,” Dunning said. “That means we can travel further for donor organs. In turn that means we should be able to find more organs for the patients in Florida and be able to help more people."

Locally, 1,024 patients are awaiting organ transplants here in the Bay area.

Use the link above to watch Cait McVey's full report.