Sep 8 7:47 PM

Note from producers about heart transplant patient Sandra Aguilar

While filming a segment about TransMedics' new Organ Care System technology (OCS), "TechKnow" contributor Phil Torres sat down to meet and interview Sandra Aguilar.

Sandra Aguilar with her son.

Aguilar suffered from cardiomyopathy, and at the time we shot this story was the next UCLA patient in line to receive a transplant. Unfortunately, she died on August 22, 2013, before a donor heart became available to her.

She was voluntarily participating in TransMedics' clinical trial for the Organ Care System at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. UCLA researchers and doctors have been monitoring how well patients who receive hearts transported using the OCS recover in comparison to patients who receive hearts delivered via the standard cooler method.

More than 6,000 patients around the world die each year while waiting for organ transplants. In 2011, recovered organs had a 26.8 percent loss rate. That means that 3,881 donor organs, including 17 hearts, were discarded due to various complications.

TransMedics' work aims to allow hospitals to monitor a variety of organs much closer throughout the recovery and transplant process, potentially reducing that loss of organs and saving thousands of live each year.

The staff at "TechKnow" extends our sincere condolences to Aguilar and her family, as well as our gratitude for their willingness to help put a face on the struggles faced by those waiting for an organ transplant.

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