ANN ARBOR, Mich.--- The University of Michigan is taking part in a clinical trial of a technique to keep lungs alive for days after death, greatly extending the possibility of transplanting them into a needy recipient.
The Detroit Free Press says that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration this month approved use of a new machine for use with human lungs for "humanitarian" cases.
It's called the XVIVO Perfusion System, and doctors say they hope the $250,000 machine will be able to sustain lungs outside the body long enough to assess them for transplant.
The transplantation group Gift of Life Michigan paid for the machine, housed at the university's Extracorporeal Life Support Research Laboratory.
Lungs are particularly fragile, and only 20 percent of those tested now are found suitable for transplant.