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  1. ITV Report

The journey of organ recovery: why every second counts

  • Watch our full report here: The journey of organ recovery - why every second counts

Most survival stories of transplant surgery would not have been possible without the remarkable people whose job it is to recover organs from donors who have died. It is a difficult task with often limited chances of success.

Newcastle is home to one of the UK's six rapid response units who can get the call at any time - to help save a life.

We were given unique access to that team one night this summer - when they were suddenly called into action.

  • 01:02 am: A medical emergency is unfolding. Somewhere, a woman's grip on life is slipping away.
  • The rapid response team in the North East is alerted.
  • The team set off from Newcastle to retrieve the organs in London.
  • 05:34 am: The transplant team are now ready to get to work.
  • 06:36 am: Six-and-a-half hours after the first call came through, the lungs have been successfully removed from the deceased.
  • But it's not good news. The organs weren't suitable for a transplant.
David Atkinson, Organ Preservation Practitioner Credit: ITV Tyne Tees
Tanveer Butt, Cardiothoracic Surgeon Credit: ITV Tyne Tees
Philip Seeley, Transplant Co-ordinator Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

On Monday 19 August 2019, we broadcasted a special programme marking the 2019 World Transplant Games, held here in the North East.

Join us in celebrating the athletic achievement, medical success stories and the remarkable generosity and courage of organ donors and recipients.

You can watch the programme here.

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