Double lung transplant performed in a patient with post-COVID pulmonary fibrosis

Hyderabad, Dec 11 (IANS) Doctors from the Heart and Lung Transplant Institute of the Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS) successfully performed a double lung transplant on a patient with post-COVID pulmonary fibrosis.

The patient underwent a successful double lung transplant after 53 days of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) support, which is the longest duration of the transition from ECMO to lung transplantation in India.

Renowned heart and lung transplant surgeon Dr. Sandeep Attawar led the team of physicians who performed the transplant.

According to doctors, a 34-year-old marketer from Haryana was diagnosed with a Covid-19 infection on October 29. He was initially admitted to a hospital in Delhi. Even after optimal treatment, the patient’s condition continued to worsen and he was initially placed on a ventilator and later on ECMO support.

Investigations showed that the patient’s lung had suffered severe damage due to Covid and had become fibrous. The only treatment option left for this young man was to undergo a lung transplant. It was at this time that the patient’s family contacted the heart and lung transplant team at KIMS, Hyderabad.

The clinical situation was grim and many challenges. The patient had a bloodstream infection, was severely decomposed from being in bed due to illness and the transfer to Hyderabad from Delhi was challenging, the waiting time for the organ was uncertain. Dr. Attawar and the team, after considering all the factors, decided to give the young man a chance.

The patient was successfully transferred to the Heart and Lung Transplant Institute, KIMS, Hyderabad. He was stabilized and the infection was treated with the appropriate antibiotics. Bedside physiotherapy was started for the patient so that he was in the best possible condition for the transplant.

Finally, after 53 days of ECMO support, a compatible donor was found and the patient underwent a double lung transplant on November 21.

Dr. Sandeep Attawar, program director and chair of the thoracic organ transplantation program, said that the transition to lung transplantation with ECMO is done routinely around the world, yet in India infections represent a I challenge many patients who succumb to infections while awaiting transplantation.

“In this case, the challenge was to first treat the infection and then make sure that the patient remained infection-free for as long as the patient was waiting for the organ, and at the same time, the team had to make sure to maintain optimal functions of the other organs too, “he said.

–IANS

ms / rt

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