The "Heart In A Box" Device Revolutionizing Transplants

It's like a scene from a science-fiction movie: a warm, still-beating heart arrives in a box just in the nick of time. Thanks to the company TransMedics, this vision has already become a reality. The company's Organ Care System, also known as the "heart in a box," is a wheeled cart that holds an encased heart that was essentially reanimated from a deceased donor. The cart has an oxygen supply and sterile heart chamber, where the donor heart is fed with blood and nutrients through tubing. In the past, transplant hearts came from healthy-bodied brain-dead donors. But doctors have already successfully transplanted hearts with the "heart in a box" from patients after they've died. According to doctors, this device could increase the number of donated hearts by 15-30%, "saving the lives of people who would otherwise die from heart failure."

See The Heart In A Box

Meet a transplant patient whose donor heart arrived "warm and beating" inside a box.

How A Dead Heart Can Save A Life

Why "heart in a box" is a huge breakthrough in organ donation.

One Patient's Transplant Story

When she collapsed at her wedding, one bride was in desperate need of a new heart.

Written by Curiosity Staff February 4, 2016

Curiosity uses cookies to improve site performance, for analytics and for advertising. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies, our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.