It is often only through research that developments in medical care can be achieved, with a better understanding of diseases allowing doctors to develop more effective treatments and quicker diagnoses.
UHB Charity's Liver Foundation UK supports research conducted by the hospital’s liver unit, which is the largest of its kind in Europe. From looking at new treatments for chronic liver disease and cancer to pioneering transplant work, research enables staff to improve the quality and length of life of patients.
The Liver Unit is closely supported by the laboratory-based research which takes place in the University of Birmingham, on the same campus as the QE. The close relationship between the laboratories and the clinical areas has been crucial in allowing the Liver Unit to reach and maintain its international status for high quality research.
By providing equipment and other resources for the liver laboratories and supporting the costs of researchers, vital developments in the diagnosis and management of liver disease can be reached and brought to patients more quickly.
What we have funded
We funded successful trials in late 2015 using the NRP machine. This piece of technology is ‘hooked up’ to the donors’ body; it then allows oxygenated blood to circulate the body for four hours before retrieval from the donor, thus allowing medical staff and patients more time to prepare for the upcoming surgery.
£100,000 has been raised toward the purchase of an NRP machine.
What we are funding
Clinical Research Nurse
We are currently raising funds to bring a Clinical Research Nurse to the Liver Department at the QE in order to assist with the multitude of research projects taking place.
To donate to the Liver Foundation UK please click here.
The NAPLES Project
Each year over 1,000 patients across the UK will require a liver transplant, but sadly not all of them will receive the life-saving organ that they need.
Clinicians at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, led by Consultant Transplant Surgeon Mr Thamara Perera, are working on a ground-breaking research project, known as the NAPLES Project, to increase the number of liver transplants that can be carried out.
NAPLES, Normothermic mAachine Perfusion of the Liver to Enable Sickest first transplantation, is a research project which utilises the OrganOx Machine which uses perfusion to keep a donated liver 'alive' outside the body for up to 24 hours.
This allows doctors to fully check the viability of the liver for transplantation, cleanse it and often improve its quality, making more livers available for transplantation. This machine was brought to the hospital following a successful fundraising campaign by the Liver Foundation UK, part of QEHB Charity, with the support of the Ann Fox Foundation.
Without this machine, surgeons have a very short time to assess whether a liver is suitable for transplant and, given the risks of transplanting with an inappropriate organ, have to reject many marginal livers.
The support given to the Liver Foundation UK has meant that 20 liver transplants have taken place which otherwise may have been impossible.
The Liver Foundation UK needs your support to raise £250,000 to fund a further 50 transplants through the NAPLES Project, which has the potential to change the way that liver transplants are carried out worldwide.