Researchers Want to Create 'Universal Donor' Lungs

Increasing the number of universal donors, Cypel hoped, would make more lungs available to more people, and make the process more equitable. “Today we have a separate list of A patients, B patients, O patients, and we don’t necessarily transplant [to] the sickest one,” he says. And even if a pair of donor lungs match the person’s blood type, they might be the wrong size for them. Too small and they won’t provide enough oxygen. Too big and they won’t fit correctly into the chest.

Even worse, only about 20 percent of donor lungs are healthy enough to be used. Some are too damaged from being on prolonged ventilation, others

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