Doctors of a private hospital in Chennai successfully carried out a bilateral lung transplant on a COVID-19 patient. The 48-year-old patient from Delhi severely damaged lungs due to COVID-19-related fibrosis. The hospital claimed that this was Asia’s first known lung transplant on a COVID-19 positive patient.
He was found to be positive on June 8 and had to be kept on ventilator support since then. As his condition worsened, he was airlifted to MGM Healthcare on July 20 where he was put on ECMO support five days later, reported The Indian Express.
Citing a statement from the hospital, the report noted, “He developed COVID-19 infection on June 8. Only a small portion of the lungs was still functioning. As he became breathless and oxygen saturation came down, he was put on ventilatory support on June 20. His condition continued to worsen in spite of ventilator support, he was airlifted to MGM Healthcare in Chennai from Ghaziabad on July 20. His lung condition continued to be worsening in spite of maximum ventilatory supportive care, and he was put on ECMO support on July 25, 2020, for more than one month. Such patients are difficult to manage even in well-equipped ICUs.”
Talking to NDTV, Dr KR Balakrishnan, the Chairman and Director of heart and lung transplant programme at the MGM Healthcare, said, "The entire team put their lives at risk for this surgery," Dr Balakrishnan said, adding that the patient had recovered from COVID before he was operated on."Both his lungs are working well now and we have removed ECMO support. His clinical condition is stable," MGM Healthcare Co-Director Dr Suresh Rao said.