Paragonix Technologies announced that its Paragonix LUNGguard System has achieved a milestone of safely completing a donor lung transport from Alaska to North Carolina.

It is said to be the longest case with respect to distance and total ischemic time for the LUNGguard Donor Lung Preservation system and was completed by Duke University Hospital.

The device facilitated the safe transport of donor lungs for the longest distance of about 7,705km with a total ischemic time of over 13 hours.

As part of the same event, the Paragonix SherpaPak Cardiac Transport System transported the heart from the same donor in Alaska to a patient in Washington State.

The device allowed a safe transport of donor heart with a total ischemic time of more than seven hours, covering a distance of about 2,541km.

Paragonix claimed that it enabled the successful transport of two organs from one donor through a process spanning five flights and 31 hours, saving two lives.

For the transplant event, four transplant centres across the US worked together.

Duke University assistant professor of surgery John Haney said: “While we consider many factors in selecting a donor, distance is a significant risk factor to moving forward.

“Transplant centres around the country are seeking ways to overcome the challenges associated with safely transporting organs further and new technologies show promise.”

A patient admitted to Duke University Hospital required a lung transplant, for whom the hospital found a matching donor in Alaska.

The company said that the distance was the biggest challenge for the transplant and is a high-risk transport with respect to complications associated with long ischemic times for organs.

Duke University Hospital contacted Paragonix Technologies for its LUNGguard system to carry out a long-distance lung transplant case.

Paragonix LUNGguard System and SherpaPak Cardiac Transportation System, both provide a sterile and temperature-controlled environment for organs between operating rooms.

The cooling technology used in the organ preservation systems ensures thermal protection for up to 40 hours, while providing protective structure for physical safety, said the company.

Paragonix Technologies founder and CEO Lisa Anderson said: “We are committed to mitigating as much risk as we can in the high-stakes environment of transplantation.

“This case represents a great example of the possibilities afforded by enabling transplant teams to safely go farther to procure these much need donor organs.”