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Hyperbaric portable organ storage unit, Europe, 1970-1979

Organs for transplant surgery were stored and transported at low temperatures inside this hyperbaric unit – ‘hyperbaric’ means that the unit can store organs at a pressure higher than normal atmospheric pressure. Kidneys were transported in this example. It would be a race against time to get kidneys from a donor to a recipient as these organs can only be used up to 48 hours after donation, although some studies have suggested that hyperbaric oxygen storage can lengthen the time organs remain viable. The unit was made by Vickers Limited Medical Engineering.

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Glossary: transplant

Surgical operation to introduce organ or tissue from one person (the donor) to another (the recipient). It may also refer to the transfer of tissues from one part of a person's body to another part of the same person's body.

Glossary: hyperbaric organ storage unit

A container used to store human organs for transplant. The chamber uses low temperatures and high pressure.