Romanian doctors found that a substance used for anesthesia increases the quality of transplanted organs and lowers the risk that they are rejected by the body, local media reported on Tuesday.
The respective substance can extend the life of transplanted organs and of patients as well and hence, the patients who need a transplant might have a safer intervention starting right as of next year, said the doctors of the Timisoara County Hospital, west of Romania.
For their discovery, that could mark a revolution in organ collecting from donors, the Timisoara doctors will receive 3.362 million euros (4.572 U.S. dollars) under a program aimed at developing research in Romania, reported the national Rompres news agency.
The positive role of anesthetics given to donors before the organs are taken for transplantation is being researched for the first time in the world, which explains the several million euros earmarked for the two-year program that will be supported from European funds, said doctor Dorel Sandesc, head of the Anesthesia and Intensive Therapy Clinic of the Timisoara Emergency Hospital.
Although the medical world is aware of quite a number of negative effects of analgesics, the Romanian doctors build on the benefits of these substances.
"Nobody has so far studied the positive impact of these substances on the organs to be collected. If we prove that an anaesthesia protocol can reduce the effects of ischemia (the cut- off of the blood flow to an organ) we will have revolutionized the procedure of taking organs from donors," said doctor Sandesc.
Administered to a donor in brain death before his organs are collected, these substances could increase the quality of transplanted organs and could help keep them for a longer period.