April 8 2021
KYOTO – Kyoto University Hospital said Thursday it has performed the world’s first living donor lung transplant into a patient with lung damage from the novel coronavirus.
The COVID-19 patient, a woman from the Kansai western Japan region, is now in the intensive care unit, and her husband and son, who gave her parts of their lungs, are in stable conditions after the surgery, conducted on Wednesday, said the hospital in the city of Kyoto, part of Kansai.
Surgeries to transplant lungs from brain-dead donors to patients suffering lung damage related to the COVID-19 disease have been carried out in China, Europe and the United States, according to the hospital.
The woman became infected with the virus late last year. After her respiratory condition deteriorated while she was undergoing treatment at a different hospital in Kansai, the woman was placed on an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, or ECMO, machine. Later, due to the aftereffects of novel coronavirus-induced pneumonia, both of her lungs became stiff and small, and almost nonfunctional.
The woman tested negative for the virus later, but she was alive only because of ECMO, and her recovery was seen as difficult unless she had a lung transplant.