Baptist Memphis performs first heart transplant using new advanced organ preservation technology


MEMPHIS, Tenn. –Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis recently completed its first heart transplant using the Paragonix SherpaPak® Cardiac Transport System, an alternative to ice storage, the historical standard of care in organ preservation.

Baptist Memphis is the first in the region to use this technology to transport organs. The technology is unique in that it is temperature- and pressure-controlled, maintaining the temperature of donor organs between 4 and 8 degrees Celsius — a temperature range that ensures metabolic preservation while avoiding freezing injury to donor organs traveling between operating rooms.

"We’re excited to have this latest advancement in organ preservation technology as it allows us to travel farther to procure organs and shorten wait times for our patients," said Dr. Dmitry Yaranov, program director, Baptist Memorial Hospital Transplant and Mechanical Circulatory Support Services. “The SherpaPak offers our team a way to closely monitor the heart in real time from removal to transplant. The control that this technology offers us will help provide every possible advantage to our patients, which is our top priority.”

Since the inception of organ transplantation nearly 70 years ago, donor hearts have been carefully transported to recipient hospitals in consumer-grade ice coolers, an uncontrolled method of preservation that risks potential freezing injuries to the donor heart. Clinical studies have discovered rapid temperature decreases in ice cooler transportation, potentially introducing detrimental effects to the integrity of the donor heart. The SherpaPak technology provides a controlled method to standardize preservation and avoid the risks of unmonitored freezing injury and provides updates in real-time temp and with location tracking using the app.

Paragonix Technologies is a leading provider of Food and Drug Administration-cleared organ preservation devices that safeguard organs during the journey between donor and recipient patients. Our devices incorporate clinically proven and medically trusted cold preservation techniques with digital tools for organ tracking, monitoring and reporting to provide patients and providers with every possible advantage. To learn more about Paragonix Advanced Organ Preservation technology, visit

TThe Baptist Memphis campus includes its 706-bed namesake — Baptist Memorial Hospital-Memphis, which is the flagship hospital of the Baptist Memorial Health Care system. The hospital serves as a major referral center for patients from across the Mid-South and offers many diagnostic, surgical and rehabilitation services. The hospital has added hundreds of beds since opening with the addition of a new patient tower and the Baptist Heart Institute. U.S. News & World Report has named Baptist Memphis the No. 1 hospital in the Memphis metro area for the past two years. And according to HealthGrades, an independent health care ratings organization, Baptist Memphis’ cardiac surgery, stroke, gastrointestinal, pulmonary and critical care programs were among the top 5% in the nation in 2009, resulting in the facility receiving Specialty Excellence Awards.