The medical side of how a heart transplant works is extraordinary.* Did you know that when you transplant a heart it switches itself back on once you give it some oxygenated blood? I didn't. Then there's the machine that lets you transport a heart still beating inside a plastic bag, so you have to switch it off before transplanting it to the recipient. Staggering stuff.
I should note that it includes a lot of detailed footage of heart transplants. I don't tend to be squeamish about medical detail, but nonetheless I had to look away a couple of times. And not all the patients make it.
You can watch it on iPlayer for another four days, and then repeated on BBC2 next weekend.
*Not least in that all the surgeons shown are extremely polite and calm, even while shoving a finger in the pulmonary artery they've just accidentally torn: "Suture, please. Thanks."
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