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Christine Stark


Christine was a first-year perfusion student at Rush University in Chicago, Illinois. She attended the University of Wyoming where she received her bachelor's degree in biology with a minor in human physiology. Prior to perfusion, Christine enjoyed a fulfilling career as a Certified Surgical Technologist for nine years. Presently, her master's project is focused on pulmonary science, with the goal of expanding donor criteria for lung transplants.


Expanding the donor criteria for LTX in the United States

Overview: Lung disease is one of the top causes of death in the United States and the third leading cause of death worldwide (1,2). Although the case volume of lung transplants (LTXs) has increased, demands are still exceeding the supply. Despite over 2,500 lung transplants being performed last year, the Organ Procurement and Transplant Network (OPTN) reported 1,065 unmatched candidates. Of those remaining on the waitlist, 150 were removed due to deterioration in prognosis and another 128 died waiting for their match. Expanding the donor pool with the inclusion of uncontrolled donation after circulatory determination of death (uDcDD) has the potential to ameliorate the shortage of suitable lungs for transplant. 


The purpose of this study is to determine feasibility of uDcDD lung transplants. A systematic review will be done to examine existing procedures and protocols. Additionally, an examination of retrospective open and semi-structured interviews with professionals in the field will be conducted. 



DcD LTXs produce successful outcomes globally and should be considered in the United States. 



At present, the overall standard is to recover organs from brain-dead donors due to their reduced organ damage from ischemic time when compared to cardiac-death donors. However, this concept does not hold as true when looking at lung donors. The lung is unique, and unlike other solid organs, when it comes to cellular respiration because it primarily uses diffusion, not perfusion, making it exponentially more tolerant of ischemia (2). Studies have shown that lungs could be recovered one hour following circulatory arrest and transplanted with excellent gas exchange (2,3). However, if the deceased donor were ventilated following cardiac arrest, lungs could be recovered 4 hours postmortem with good gas exchange (3). Documentation from other countries show the feasibility of implementing successful uDcDD protocols; there has yet to be a uDcDD lung transplant in the United States (2,3). 


1st Place PSPS Student Scholarship Presentation Award - 

This Award will be presented to the student who has presented an outstanding scientific paper at the Carolina Perfusion Symposium. The award consists of a prize of a monetary scholarship intended to support perfusion education.

2022 CPS Award Winners