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Body organs are kept cold in-between explanting them from the donor and implanting them in the new host. How do these cold conditions help organs to stay viable while they haven't fresh blood, energy and oxygen supply?

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    $\begingroup$ I edited the wording slightly. If you aren't happy with these changes feel free to roll back. $\endgroup$ – AliceD Jun 9 '15 at 12:51
  • $\begingroup$ No worries, +1, nice question $\endgroup$ – AliceD Jun 9 '15 at 12:58
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    $\begingroup$ By lowering down the metabolism of these organs. Since metabolism is lowered the requirement for oxygen and energy goes down. $\endgroup$ – WYSIWYG Jun 9 '15 at 16:32
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, its true but I am looking for a more informative answer like SolarLinux's answer. $\endgroup$ – MySky Jun 10 '15 at 9:35
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This paper actually goes into the whole history of organ transplants.

In short it seems to have the following effects:

  • preservation - usually with a specific solution to help.
  • slows down extracorporeal ischaemic damage
  • slows down hypoxic damage
  • slows down the metabolism (energy consumption) and thus the need for oxygen that blood provides.

Remember that the cooling doesn't allow the organ to live indefinitely, and may only work for a few short hours depending on the organ.

I highly recommend reading the paper if you'd like to know more about organ transplant. They went into great detail about the past and present and the abstract also says they discuss new techniques about to be don't in clinical trials.

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  • $\begingroup$ This site is so useful and its participants are great. Thank You $\endgroup$ – MySky Jun 10 '15 at 9:34
  • $\begingroup$ Of course, glad I could help. I was quite impressed by the paper myself @MySky $\endgroup$ – SolarLunix Jun 10 '15 at 9:34

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