National Geographic Daily News

Donor Heart

Photograph by Bruce Dale

At Houston's Ben Taub Hospital, careful—and quick—steps are taken to prep a donor heart for transport and transplantation. To preserve the harvested heart, a member of the transplant team flushes it with a cooling solution that slows its metabolic rate. Doctors have a narrow window of only four to six hours to get the heart into the waiting recipient before it is no longer viable.

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