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First lung transplant from living donor to Covid-19 recovered patient

Posted by LIZ DAVENPORT

Patients with severe Covid-19 have lung transplantation as a treatment option, in extreme cases. In March, two of them attracted attention. In the first, a patient received a transplant from living donors. In the other, the donor had the coronavirus, but his lung was not permanently compromised.

Japanese Doctors Perform First Lung Transplant From Living Donor To Covid-19 Recovered Patient

Last Wednesday (7), a Japanese woman underwent her first living donor lung transplant. This was necessary because the infection caused by Covid-19 severely compromised her lung. The surgery took place at Kyoto University Hospital, located in Japan, and was attended by a 30-person medical team.

According to doctors, this type of transplant, from living donors to a patient who had SARS-COV-2, was the first in the world. It was the first whose donation did not come from a brain-dead person, a transplant that is still rare in Japan. The operation lasted 11 hours and the lung tissue donors were the patient’s husband and son. The husband donated part of the left lung and the son part of the right. In addition, the transplanted will be discharged within two months, counted from the day of the operation.

The recipient became infected with the coronavirus in late 2020. Thus, the evolution to severe Covid-19 was very rapid. Thus, the worsening of breathing difficulties, made her need to be connected to an artificial lung for three months. It is better known as extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (Ecmo). Later, free of the virus and with irreversible damage to the lung, a transplant was necessary.

Lung involvement is one of the most serious consequences of Covid-19. Because of this, many patients receive a lung transplant as part of their recovery from illness, but not from living donors. Therefore, the thoracic surgeon responsible for leading the surgery, Hiroshi Date, says that the success of the surgery demonstrates that it is another treatment option.

Patient receives lung from a recovered individual from Covid-19

In March of this year, doctors at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago transplanted both lungs from a recovered Covid-19 patient to another with the same disease. The medical team points out that this type of transplant was one of the first in the United States. The donor had symptoms caused by the coronavirus considered to be mild to moderate, but he recovered and his lung had no permanent damage

However, later on, he died for reasons that had nothing to do with the virus. The transplant patient was 60 years old and had severe symptoms of the disease. Because of this, it had to be connected to a respirator and Ecmo. So, because of the irreversible damage, transplantation was considered the last option. The recipient was on the transplant list for only a week, until he found a compatible donor.

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