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Newcastle Institute performs pioneering transplant surgery

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A patient suffering from cystic fibrosis has benefited from pioneering lung transplant technology.

James Finlayson, 24, was discharged from hospital last month after undergoing the surgery at the Newcastle upon Tyne Institute of Cellular Medicine.

During the procedure Mr Finlayson received a pair of donor lungs which would otherwise have been discarded due to deterioration.

Instead, the organs were reinvigorated in a laboratory using the latest technology.

Professor Paul Corris, academic director at the Institute of Transplantation at Newcastle, praised the technique which will potentially increase the number of donor organs available for use and "the amount of patients we can save".

He added that the technique will initially benefit "those with cystic fibrosis, emphysema and lung fibrosis" but "it may well be that in the future this process can be used in livers, kidneys and hearts".

According to NHS records organs are in high demand with over 10,000 people in the UK currently waiting for a transplant.

Long waiting times are caused by a disparity between the number of donors and the number of recipients: whilst 96 per cent of the British population would receive an organ if needed, only 27 per cent have joined the NHS Organ Donor Register.

Private treatment news : 18 December 2009