Breathing Lung Transplant

Find your care

At UCLA Health, we offer hope to patients who need lung transplants.

Call 310-825-6068 to learn more about the Lung Transplant Program.

If you are post-transplant patient seeking transfer of care, please call our office for more information.

UCLA Performs First Breathing Lung Transplant in United States

We performed the nation's first "breathing lung" transplant in 2012, and are now leading clinical trial of this innovative technology. This technique is part of our mission to make life-saving lung transplant procedures possible for as many people as possible.

Learn more about our research and trials.

How Does "Breathing Lung" Transplant Work?

"Breathing lung" technology is an experimental lung transplant organ-preservation system.

The Organ Care System (OCS) lets the donor lungs function outside the body while the lungs are being transported. The OCS also keeps lungs healthy by keeping them in an environment that is very similar to conditions inside the body - warm and nourished by blood and oxygen.

Understanding the Organ Care System (OCS)

Organ Care System - Lung

These are the general steps to OCS:

  • After lung(s) are removed from a donor's body, they are placed in a high-tech OCS container, or box.
  • The lungs are revived immediately to a breathing state, perfused with oxygen and nutrient-rich blood, and maintained at an appropriate temperature.
  • Monitors on the device report how the lungs are functioning during transport
  • The lungs remain warm and breathing until transplant.

Advantages of the Organ Care System

The OCS has several revolutionary possibilities for lung transplantation:

  • The OCS eliminates the process of cooling the lungs for transport and re-warming them for transplant. This change is particularly beneficial because lungs are delicate and prone to damage.
  • Physicians can monitor the lungs in transit, and even improve their condition while they are in the OCS.
  • Physicians can evaluate potential donor lungs over a longer time period. This ability might make more donor lungs available, by allowing more time to evaluate borderline organs.
  • Preliminary results from Phase 1 of the clinical study show that primary graft dysfunction (PGD) was less common in transplanted lungs when physicians had used the OCS.

UCLA has also worked with the developer of the OCS to make "beating heart" transplant technology available to our patients.

Learn more about our research and trials.