Doctors Conduct World’s First Living Donor Lung Transplant To Covid-19 Patient
A woman in Japan has undergone what’s thought to be the world’s first living donor lung transplant to a Covid-19 patient.
The patient’s lungs had been severely damaged after contracting coronavirus, and she underwent the 11-hour surgery on Wednesday, April 7.
The surgery took place at Kyoto University Hospital with a medical team made up of 30 people who transported lung tissue from the woman’s husband and son.
It’s believed the two men were in a ‘stable condition’ following the surgery, TRT World reports, after the husband donated part of his left lung, while the son donated part of his right.
After two months of recovery, the woman is expected to be able to resume to her life as normal,despite having been on life support for several months prior to the surgery.
It’s reported that she contracted the virus in late 2020 before developing pneumonia, which caused both her lungs to harden and shrink destroying most of their functionality, Kydo News writes.
Following the successful surgery, Dr. Hiroshi Date, a thoracic surgeon at the hospital who led the operation, said as per CNN, ‘We demonstrated that we now have an option of lung transplants (from living donors).’
He added that he thinks this surgery ‘is a treatment that gives hope for patients’ who have suffered severe lung damage from Covid-19.
Sadly, severe lung damage caused by Covid-19 isn’t uncommon, and dozens of surgeries where transplants of part of the lungs have been taken from brain-dead donors have been carried out in the US, Europe and China to patients suffering with lung damage from coronavirus. However, Wednesday’s surgery is thought to be the first involving living donors.
A study conducted in China earlier this year demonstrated the long-lasting, devastating effects Covid-19 can have on people, with 76% of the 1,700 people who took part in the study showing to still have at least one symptoms months after contracting the virus.
The most common long-lasting effects were fatigue and difficulty sleeping, with 63% and 23% retrospectively, still having these symptoms six months after their Covid-19 diagnosis, CNN reported in January.
It was found that the virus could also potentially have psychological effects on patients, with 23% of those surveyed stating that they’d been suffering with anxiety and depression.
Dr. Bin Cao of the China-Japan Friendship Hospital and Capital Medical University, who led the study team said of their findings, ‘Because Covid-19 is such a new disease, we are only beginning to understand some of its long-term effects on patients’ health.’