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'Lung Washing' Could Boost Transplants

from BBC News Online

"Washing" lungs before they are transplanted could increase numbers of the organs suitable for donation, according to doctors in Newcastle. Only one in five donated lungs are good enough to be transplanted safely.

A trial, being led by Newcastle University, is trying to improve the quality of the lungs by pumping nutrients and oxygen through them. The British Transplantation Society said the technique could "dramatically" increase the number of lungs used.

Around a quarter of people waiting for an organ transplant die in the first year on a transplant list. The lungs are delicate organs and the events which lead to a donor's death can also damage the lungs. It is why so few can be transplanted.

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