Kidney transplant

The history of transplants had many false starts

On watching transplant surgery, I can give prosaic but essential advice: have a good breakfast. Each operation can last 12 hours, and you’re unlikely to get a seat. Relocating a liver that was recently inside someone else is a feat of preparation, choreography and collaboration (with the patient too, who must agree to alcoholic abstinence). However, transplants can also be organised in minutes. Every day, thousands of units of red cells are requested from NHS blood banks and delivered through IV drips with little ceremony. What then actually is a transplant, which moves ‘life itself… from one man’s body into another’s’? Spare Parts edges up against this question, revealing our