Addenbrooke's Charitable Trust

The liver perfusion machine

ACT on Transplant

Liver failure could happen to anyone, regardless of age or lifestyle, and when it does the only hope can be a liver transplant.

Addenbrooke’s is one of just a handful of liver transplant centres in the UK, and an international centre of excellence. We carry out over 100 liver transplants annually and that number is growing each year. However, around 17% of people on the liver transplant waiting list either die before a donor is found or deteriorate to such an extent that they are no longer well enough to undergo a transplant and are removed from the list.

We want to invest in the very latest cutting-edge liver perfusion technology that will enable transplant surgeons to ‘test out’ livers before transplanting them. This not only ensures that unsafe livers are not transplanted, but also gives surgeons confidence to use some livers that would previously have been discarded due to lack of confidence in their viability. Not only will many more lives be saved, but recovery times should also be much improved. 

What does a liver perfusion machine do?

A liver perfusion machine pumps oxygenated blood through the liver, mimicking in simple terms what happens in the body. In this way, livers can be kept viable for significantly longer periods of time outside the body - up to 24 hours as opposed to 6-12 hours in cold storage. In addition, the machine allows doctors to fully assess the liver and its function before transplantation.

“This ground-breaking equipment will significantly reduce failed transplants and post transplant complications as well as increase the number of donor livers available for transplant.”

Professor Chris Watson, Consultant Transplant Surgeon

How can you help?

We need to raise £250,000 to trial, for an initial two years, this world-class technology not yet used for routine transplantation at any other hospital in the UK. During the trial, comprehensive analysis will be carried out by the transplant department to prove the machine’s effectiveness so that sustainable NHS funding can be secured following the trial.

Will you support this ground-breaking project and help save dozens, even hundreds, of lives in years to come?