Perth woman first to get cross-country heart

Updated June 07, 2012 19:27:02

A 29-year-old Perth woman has become the first person in Australia to receive a donor heart that has been sent from the other side of the country.

Royal Perth Hospital now has a breakthrough medical device which allows a heart to be kept beating for up to eight hours after it has been taken from a donor.

The $500,000 TransMedic Organ Care System means patients in Perth can receive hearts from places as far away as Sydney and even New Zealand.

Previously, donor hearts were kept on ice and could only be transported relatively short distances.

Donor heart recipient Shararri Ahmadzedh says the new technology will allow more patients to receive heart transplants.

"I was quite excited actually; it just means there's a whole lot of other donors that become available to people in WA, and also the eastern states as well," she said.

Royal Perth Hospital cardiothoracic surgeon Robert Larbalestier says it will mean hearts can also be sent from Perth to Sydney.

"It will give us an opportunity for organ sharing right across the nation, which I think is a huge advance for heart transplantation," he said.

"We're looking forward to increased opportunities of working with our east coast units, who've always supported the program here and helped us to advance and develop everything we've done."

Topics: medical-procedures, perth-6000

First posted June 07, 2012 19:16:49