Doctors in China have performed the world’s first double-lung transplant on a 59-year-old coronavirus patient, according to a report.
Dr. Chen Jingyu, vice president of the Wuxi People’s Hospital in Jiangsu province, and his team performed the five-hour operation on a man who was diagnosed with COVID-19 on Jan. 26, the Global Times reported.
It took seven hours to transport the lungs from a brain-dead donor to the hospital aboard a high-speed train, the news outlet reported.
The lungs have been working well since the Saturday surgery and the patient’s vital signs were stable, Chen told the Global Times.
The man eventually tested negative for the disease, but had suffered irreversible pulmonary damage during his illness.
“The next step is to closely observe the patient, explore the perioperative management of the patient, perform anti-rejection and anti-infection follow-up treatment, and summarize the treatment experience for such advanced COVID-19 infection cases,” Chen told the outlet.
“It was a highly risky surgery since all surgeons had to stay in a negative pressure room during the entire operation wearing whole-body protective suits,” Chen added.
The surgeon noted three important prerequisites for lung transplantation in coronavirus patients.
First, the person’s breathing must have been maintained by a ventilator while undergoing extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, or ECMO, via a machine that replaces the function of the heart and lungs.
Second, the patient’s repeated nucleic acid tests — which diagnose COVlD-19 — must be negative.
Finally, the patient’s other organs have to be functioning normally.
Source: New York Post