Heart transplant. Insight special.

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Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)

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Heart transplant. Insight special. Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0). Source: Wellcome Collection.

About this work


Film of a heart transplant at Papworth Hospital, Cambridge (England). 6 segments.


UK : London Television Service, 1981.

Physical description

1 encoded moving image (30 min.) : sound, color



Copyright note

Crown copyright, managed by BFI.

Terms of use

Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 2.0 UK: England & Wales

Language note

In English

Creator/production credits

Produced by London Television Service. Filmed at Papworth Hospital. Narrated by Terence English and Richard Cory-Pearce. Camera by Dave Chilton, sound by Norman Johnstone, edited by Maurice Tarling and John Wilson, research by Jenny Lucas, directed by Bill Metcalfe and produced by Annabel Olivier Wright.


This video was made from material preserved by the BFI National Archive


Segment 1 Opening credits. The narrator explains that a donor heart has become available for a patient in Papworth Hospital. The male patient is brought to the anaesthetic room and monitored. After confirmation that the donor heart was removed without complication, he is anaesthetised; his wife's hand is shown holding his. The narrator describes the drugs given. An endo-trachael tube is passed into his throat. His left jugular vein is canulated. He is transferred to the operating theatre and his chest is opened, first with a scalpel and then a saw. Time start: 00:00:00:00 Time end: 00:04:44:02 Length: 00:04:44:02
Segment 2 The heart is exposed and the patient is prepared for cardiopulmonary bypass. The narrator explains what the surgeons are doing and also mentions that at once point the heart went into defibrillation but that they supported it and it returned to normal. The donor team arrive carrying the donor heart in a coolbox. The donor heart is removed from its packaging. Time start: 00:04:44:02 Time end: 00:10:18:00 Length: 00:05:33:23
Segment 3 The donor heart is trimmed of excess tissue and prepared for insertion into the recipient. The recipient's heart is prepare for removal. It is separated and the surgeon begins to lift it out of the chest cavity whilst suction is performed. Time start: 00:10:18:00 Time end: 00:15:37:06 Length: 00:05:19:06
Segment 4 The recipient's heart is removed. The new heart is prepared. The narrator explains that some filming was done via a mirror above the operating table and that therefore some images will seem reversed. The new heart is sewn in. Time start: 00:15:37:06 Time end: 00:20:34:11 Length: 00:04:57:05
Segment 5 The new heart continues to be sewn in. The narrator explains that the recipient's pulmonary artery was large and thick-walled, indicating pulmonary hypertension of some duration. The pulmonary artery is sewn to the new heart. The clamp is released and the heart is revascularised. Time start: 00:20:34:11 Time end: 00:25:35:04 Length: 00:05:00:18
Segment 6 The heart is about to come off bypass. The team check that it everything is in order and discontinue the bypass. Wires are left in place for one month to detect problems and rejection. The sternum is closed and the patient is transferred to ICU. He is nursed for a month in reverse barrier isolation. Closing credits and shots of the patient recovering and then walking through a wood. Time start: 00:25:35:04 Time end: 00:30:11:00 Length: 00:04:35:21



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