7 May 2019,

After the launch of the organ donation programme with the ECMO (ExtraCorporeal Membrane Oxygenation) system, the number of transplants increases in the Valencian Community and 113 donations are registered in the first months of 2019.

Traditionally, potential donors came from what is known as brain death. However, the experience of controlled asystole donation is growing, through the ECMO system, a technology that restores the blood flow of abdominal organs with oxygenated blood and at the right temperature, which allows organ extractions when the death is due to cardiopulmonary arrest.

“We feel closer to achieving a transplant system capable of preserving better quality donated organs,” said Dr. Rafael Badenes, a specialist in Anaesthesiology and Critical Care at the Hospital Clínico Universitario de València, transplant coordinator at this hospital and coordinator of Sectorial Transplants in the city of València.

The first organ donation in the Valencian Community by using the asystole technique controlled by the ECMO system was carried out at the Hospital Clínico Universitario de Valencia in 2017.  

In this mobile ECMO programme, a team of professionals from the Hospital Clínic Universitario de València and the Hospital Universitari i Politècnic la Fe move to any centre in the Community (except the Hospital General de Alicante, the Hospital de Sant Joan and the General de Castellón which have their own ECMO equipment) when there is a potential organ donor in controlled asystole.

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