New device will deliver a 'Heart in a Box'

6:51 PM, Jul 24, 2012   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- Nearly 1,800 people are waiting for an organ transplant in Northeast Ohio. 104 of those people are in need of a heart.

Now a new device being tested at The Cleveland Clinic may increase their chances of finding one.

Randy Mayner was one of those waiting for a heart transplant after suffering a massive heart attack three years ago.

Finding a heart proved difficult, for two reasons. Randy is a large man and a heart can only travel in a five hundred mile radius of the hospital so Randy was limited to the East Coast.

The Cleveland Clinic is one of five hospitals in the country currently testing the Transmedics Heart in a Box.

The device keeps the donated heart beating which increases the distance it can travel. Randy's heart came from California.  

The box not only increases the traveling time but may also ensure that a stronger heart is delivered to the hospital.  Technicians can monitor the organ enroute to make sure it's healthy.

Randy believes this made a difference in his recovery since he only spent a day and a half in the Intensive Care Unit after his surgery.

He hopes, along with doctors at the Clinic, that others awaiting a heart transplant will be as fortunate.

There are currently 2,200 heart transplants performed in the U.S. each year but there are 3,500 people waiting for new hearts.

The Heart in the Box may allow for more transplants to happen.


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