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Discover the revolutionary technique that saves lives and generates controversy: PRN

A normothermic regional perfusion (PRN) is a revolutionary technique that, despite generating different positions from specialists, increasingly promotes organ donation, in addition to saving lives, such as Anthony Donatelli41 years old.

With the rare disease of amyloidosis, Donatelli estimated that he had only three months to live. The only chance to alter your fate would be with the transparent three compatible bodies.

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He was hospitalized, just waiting for a donor who could extend the time with his two children, when he became the first person in the world to receive a triple transplant of heart, liver and kidney, using the PRN technique.

This technique makes the oxygenated blood of the already dead person circulate again and, therefore, make the organs work again for the donation.

A with the permission of family members, the process consists of, initially, turning off the devices that keep victims of irreversible brain damage alive. After filing for bankruptcy, doctors use a machine to pump blood and reanimate the donor’s organs, even the heart.


Normothermic regional perfusion (PRN) technique. (Photo: Reproduction/GettyImages BBC).

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Despite having facilitated “an amazing life” to Anthony Donatelli and be used in several European countries It is in the United States, PRN is widely discussed because it is associated with the idea of ​​bringing the dead back to life.

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The technique has been so questioned, to the point of American College of Physicians request that it be stopped in favor of the need to understand the “profound ethical questions regarding the determination of death”. According to the document issued in 2021, “PRN resuscitates the patient.”

In this same perspective, the president and executive director of New England Donor Services, Alexandra Glazier, still stated to BBC that PRN should be adopted only for abdominal organ transplantation. In this way, she suggested avoiding the reactivation of the heart, in order not to cause the resuscitation of patients.

In opposition to the thought that PRN afflicts ethical issues and brings the dead to life, physicians Brendan Parent, Nader Moazami, Arthur Caplan and Robert Montgomery published in 2022 in the scientific journal American Journal of Transplantation statements in which they state that the blood pumping present in this technique does not change the fact that the heart would not resuscitate autonomously.

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For these doctors, this organ recovery is “honest, transparent and respectful”, for death would have been declared following the standards of ethics.

Surgical Director of Heart Transplantation and Mechanical Circulatory Support at NYU Langone Health, Moazamistill claims that “It’s not resuscitating the donor, because resuscitation, by definition, means you’re going to restore longevity or quality of life.”

Despite the debates, normothermic regional perfusion (PRN) continues to evolve in the US and, so far, has not been used in Latin America.

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Featured photo: Organ transplant. Reproduction/Medicinesa.

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Discover the revolutionary technique that saves lives and generates controversy: PRN

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