THIS WEEK IN 1993: Doctors’ last-ditch plan for donor crisis

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Desperate kidney transplant doctors planned to chill patients’ bodies in a last-ditch bid to crack the donor crisis gripping Portsmouth.

The radical technique preserved the organs of accident victims long enough for doctors to get permission for transplantation from relatives.

But it meant carrying out the procedure without telling the patient’s family first.

The method involved injecting a chemical into the kidneys which preserved them for hours while relatives were asked for permission to remove them.

Surgeon Maurice Slapak, of the regional kidney unit at St Mary’s hospital, Milton, said: ‘We have a terrible situation here in Portsmouth with a shortage of organs and this is an excellent way of tackling the problem and saving lives.’

The preserving technique was carried out in only a handful of areas in the UK.