WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A young coronavirus patient receives a lung transplant from a Chicago hospital following severe respiratory damage.
- Doctors are expecting the woman to live a healthy life following the successful operation.
- While transplants are generally hard to have in the U.S., patients who are in bad shape are given priority in the list.
A young woman who suffered from severe respiratory damage due to coronavirus gets a new set of lungs from Chicago based surgeons.
In other parts of the world, only a few patients who were coronavirus survivors in Europe and China were given lung transplants.
The young patient who was only on her 20s was under ventilator care and was aided by a heart-lung machine for almost sixty days before she went on an operation at Northwestern Memorial Hospital on Friday.
On Wednesday, Dr. Ankit Bharat, the specialist who executed the procedure, said the 10-hour operation was delicate because the COVID-19 infection left many holes on her lungs full to the point it almost glued to the wall of the chest.
After the operation, her Doctors maintained both machines while on recovery, but experts believe she has a chance to live a healthy life.
The medical director of the lung transplant program of the hospital, Dr. Rade Tomic, was optimistic and said they expect the woman to recover fully.
The hospital did not disclose the young patient’s name, but Bharat noted that the woman only recently moved to Chicago with her partner. Reports say that they were from North Carolina.
Before her hospitalization, the patient was generally healthy, but her illness quickly worsened after being admitted last April. Doctors had to wait for six weeks before they decided to give the young woman a transplant, making sure that her body had already been cleared from the virus.
In the U.S., lungs comprised just about 7% of the almost 40,000 organ transplants the previous year. Patients on the transplant list usually have to wait for some weeks since lung replacements are hard to find.
Bharat clarified that their patient in Chicago was given the priority for the transplant since she was already in bad condition, with clear indications that her kidneys, heart, and liver already started to fail.