24. How long can donated organ last outside the body?

If kept chilled in preservation solution, donated organs can remain viable for transplantation for a duration ranging from a few to many hours, although it is best if they are transplanted as quickly as possible after the donation surgery. Typical storage times are 30 hours or less for a kidney, less than 12 hours for a pancreas or liver, and less than 6 hours for a heart or lungs. These times vary because of the relative speed at which deterioration begins in the organs' tissues.

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