For this week's "TechKnow" story on organ transplant technology, contributor Shini Somara met Victoria Bloomfield. Bloomfield suffered from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a chronic, and ultimately fatal, thickening or scarring of the lung tissue.
Bloomfield contacted St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona, and learned she was eligible for a lung transplant. The hospital was also part of the TransMedics Organ Care System (OCS) trial, meaning that there was a possibility that her new lungs would arrive warm, breathing and pumping oxygen, rather than on ice.
After months of waiting, Bloomfield and her husband Brian finally got the call. Her new lungs were arriving, and they were coming on the OCS.
Months of waiting for donor lungs had been reduced to about four hours of waiting for the surgeons to do their work. Then, finally, the new lungs took their first breath in Victoria's body.
For Bloomfield, the successful surgery means a new pair of lungs and hopefully, a long and healthy life, free of further respiratory struggles. For doctors and researchers, the sucessful use of the TransMedics technology is another step towards improving the organ transplant system and increasing the number of patients who make it off the waiting list.
Watch "TechKnow," Sunday 7:30ET/4:30PT, to see Vicki's story and learn more about innovative organ transplant technology.