Simple changes to how ventilators are used could almost double the number of lungs available for transplants, according to new international research involving a doctor at St. Michael's Hospital.
Many potential donor lungs deteriorate between the time a patient is declared brain dead and the time the lungs are evaluated to determine whether they are suitable for transplant. The study involving Dr. Arthur Slutsky, the hospital's vice president of research, said the deterioration could be in part because of the ventilatory strategy used while potential donors were observed just prior to being declared brain dead.
His team, lead by Dr. Marco Ranieri of the University of Turin in Italy, tested a "lung protective strategy" on patients in 12 hospitals in Spain and Italy that resulted in a significant increase in the number of viable donor lungs that were transplanted. Their results are published in the current issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The strategy involved using smaller "tidal volumes," meaning less air was pumped into the lungs with each breath, to prevent injury to the lungs. It also used higher "positive-end expiratory pressure," the amount of pressure applied by the ventilator at the end of an exhalation, to prevent lungs from collapsing.
"A lot of patients who are waiting for lung transplants die before they get a transplant because there aren't enough organs," said Dr. Slutsky, the only Canadian on the research team. "By using this lung protective strategy, one can essentially double the number of lungs available for transplant."
The randomized study involved 118 patients. Of the 59 patients treated with conventional ventilation, 32 (54 per cent) met lung donor eligibility criteria. Of those on the lung protective strategy, 56 (95 per cent) met the criteria. Ultimately, double the number of lungs was transplanted in the group treated with the lung protective strategy.
According to the Canadian Institute for Health Information, 1,222 lung transplants were performed in Canada between 1997 and 2006, but 299 people died while waiting for a transplant. There were 252 people waiting to receive lung transplants in 2006, up from 119 in 1997.
"This is pretty simple and easy to implement," Dr. Slutsky said. "It's not like a fancy new drug or equipment. You just have to change the ventilator a little bit."
Dr. Slutsky said some doctors and hospitals may already be following a similar "lung protective strategy" but this is the first published randomized clinical trial showing it works, which could lead to standards that all hospitals would follow.
"If this is adopted widely, we think it will increase the number of lungs available for transplant, increase the quality of life for some people and probably save the lives of some people who are on the waiting list," he said.
About St. Michael's Hospital:
St. Michael's Hospital provides compassionate care to all who enter its doors. The Hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in more than 23 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, and care of the homeless are among the Hospital's recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research at St. Michael's Hospital is recognized and put into practice around the world. Founded in 1892, the Hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.
Leslie Shepherd | EurekAlert!
Foods of the future
15.08.2018 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
New antibody analysis accelerates rational vaccine design
09.08.2018 | Scripps Research Institute
Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...
Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.
When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...
Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....
Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.
Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...
Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur
What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...
08.08.2018 | Event News
27.07.2018 | Event News
25.07.2018 | Event News
15.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
15.08.2018 | Earth Sciences
15.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy