A patient with COVID-19 infection received a double lung transplant. The 5 hour procedure was performed by doctors in China. The lungs were obtained from a “brain-dead donor”. The 59 year old male patient’s lungs were seriously damaged by COVID-19.
The patient tested negative for the coronavirus after the lung transplant. Even with a lung transplant, the risk of coronavirus reinfection remains plausible. After a lung transplant, you will be given immunosuppressants. These medications suppress your immune system so it doesn’t reject the new organ.
The must be taken for the rest of your life. These immunosuppressants weaken and disturb your immune system. This increases your risk of infections, which may also include COVID-19.
If the organ receiver doesn’t take extreme self-protection measures, such as self-isolation, social distancing, and regular hand washing, the risk of reinfecting the new lungs with the coronavirus remains high.
Not everyone infected with COVID-19 is eligible for a lung transplant. The doctors note that the other organs of the patient must function normally. And the body must be able to withstand the lung transplantation. Patients who receive a lung transplant following COVID-19 infection must remain under regular care by health professionals.
One major problem with this approach is the lack of enough organ replacements, which makes lung transplants exclusive to only certain patients. People with pre-existing medical conditions, such as long-term lung damage, are more likely to be severely affected by COVID-19.
The lungs are the main target of the coronavirus. The virus infects epithelial cells in the lining of the lung. Inside the cell, the virus begins to replicate until it destroys the cell. The infection then makes it’s way to the lower respiratory tract. The virus continues to replicate inside the airways, thus destroying more cells. This leads to severe pneumonia (Shortness of breath) along with a cough.
A recent report showed that patients who recover from COVID-19 are more likely to lose up to 30% of their lung function. And are left gasping for breath when they walk quickly.