NDN successfully recovers heart after circulatory death for transplant; coordinates its first Ex Vivo Lung Perfusion (EVLP) to prolong viability of lungs for transplant    

Recently, Nevada Donor Network (NDN) successfully reached two pivotal milestones reflective of the team’s dedication to maximizing the gift of life and health through organ, eye and tissue donation. Leveraging groundbreaking technology in transplantation recovery, the organ procurement organization (OPO) coordinated the recovery of a lifesaving heart for transplant after circulatory death; and coordinated its first Ex Vivo Lung Perfusion (EVLP) to prolong the viability of lungs for transplant.  

Thanks to a heroic Nevadan, NDN is the first OPO in Region 5 (Nevada, Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Utah) of the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), and among the first in the nation to recover a heart for transplant from a Donation after Cardiac and Circulatory Death (DCD) donor. A DCD donation is possible after the heart stops beating; most commonly, donation occurs when a person’s brain has completely and irreversibly stopped functioning, called Donation after Brain Death (DBD).

“Organ donation is possible only when someone has died under certain medical conditions and after all lifesaving efforts have been exhausted,” said Nevada Donor Network Vice President of Clinical Affairs Darren Lahrman.  “DCD is only possible after a family’s decision to transition their loved one to comfort care. Until recently, this type of donation has yielded kidneys, livers and lungs for transplant, which makes DCD donation rare. A grateful recipient in the Midwest is alive today thanks to another family’s generosity.”

Because of another donor hero, the NDN team coordinated their first Ex Vivo Lung Perfusion (EVLP) which has given the gift of life to a grateful recipient who can breathe again. EVLP is an innovative therapy that perfuses nutrients into donated lungs outside of the body to improve organ quality and transplant outcomes. EVLP allows lungs that would previously have been considered unsuitable safe for transplant. Without it, donated lungs must be transplanted within six hours. With this innovative technology, NDN facilitated a second chance at life for someone on the other side of the country.  

“First and foremost, we extend our sincere gratitude to the heroic donors and courageous families whose

generosity has made the gift of life possible for others,” said Nevada Donor Network President & CEO Joe Ferreira. “It is our tremendous honor to facilitate and maximize these lifesaving gifts on behalf of those we

humbly serve. With more than 113,000 people on the waiting list nationwide, including 644 Nevadans, it is our duty to ensure we save and heal as many lives as possible. We proudly share our milestone achievements in hopes it inspires the donation community and the world to consider what is possible.”  

NDN is the only Nevada-based federally designated 501c3 not-for-profit organ procurement organization also responsible for facilitating tissue and cornea donation statewide.  For more information, please visit www.NVDonor.org