More than 16-hundred people in the U-S are on a waiting
list for new lungs.
Many of those people will never get the transplant
they desperately need.
But now .
a new technology is saving lives.
Martie Salt has more.
FOR 63-YEAR-OLD MICHELE COLEMAN, EVERY BIRTHDAY HAS
THREE YEARS AGO, C-O-P-D BEGAN TO THREATEN HER LIFE.
I collapsed in our shower.
I felt like I was breathing, but I wasn't getting
LAST YEAR, MICHELE WAS PLACED ON THE LUNG TRANSPLANTATION
LIST, BUT A RARE PROTEIN IN HER BLOOD MADE THINGS
When they tell you your chances went from 100 percent
to two percent of getting a donor match, it's devastating.
NOW A NEW DEVICE MAY GREATLY IMPROVE THE ODDS FOR
PATIENTS NEEDING LUNGS.
IT'S CALLED THE X-VIVO EX- VEE-voh.
Xvivo means out of body.
THE DEVICE IS A LARGE STERILE BOX DESIGNED TO MAINTAIN
AND IMPROVE DONATED LUNGS.
FOR UP TO SIX HOURS, LUNGS ARE PLACED IN THE MACHINE,
WHICH BRINGS THEM TO BODY TEMPERATURE.
IT IS ALSO A VENTILATOR, OPENING UP RESTRICTED AIRWAYS
AND IT CIRCULATES A SPECIAL SOLUTION THROUGH THE ORGANS
TO IMPROVE THEIR FUNCTION.
Its job is to take a lung that is subpar that would
not be transplanted and treat it.
DOCTOR VARUN VAHR-un PURI POOR-ee SAYS WITHOUT X-VIVO
EX- VEE-voh, ONLY ONE IN FIVE DONOR LUNGS IS HEALTHY
ENOUGH FOR TRANSPLANTATION.
HE SAYS THIS DEVICE COULD HAVE TREMENDOUS IMPACT.
My estimate is somewhere between the ten to 20 percent
range increase in the number of transplants due to
LAST NOVEMBER, MICHELE RECEIVED DONOR LUNGS THAT HAD
BEEN RECONDITIONED IN THE BOX.
NOW THE WOMAN WHO COULDN'T WALK MORE THAN THREE OR
FOUR STEPS CAN STROLL THE NEIGHBORHOOD WITH HER HUSBAND.
You've got to keep your hope.
You cannot give up.
I'M MARTIE SALT, REPORTING.