A 20-man-old woman in the United States had just gotten a complete lung graft. The woman was hospitalized for six weeks due to COVID-19.
The woman has been at the Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago after developing a severe COVID-19, according to a statement from Northwestern Medicine. He is connected to the ventilator and the extracorporeal membrane oxygenation machine (ECMO) to keep his heart and lungs still running, Sunday (14/6/2020).
Early June, this woman had suffered irreversible lung damage, she was later included in the list of patients who needed a transportation or graft. The patient gets a donor from both the deceased and a healthy person. The first lung Donor was conducted in 1960 but was later popular in 1990, according to the Harvard Medical School.
Although the transplant was successful, the surgery also had a high risk, the woman was the first to get the lung transportation during the Covid-19 pandemic. Before proceeding with the operation, the patient must first be declared a negative of the COVID-19. The patient will be able to perform further surgery if expressed negatively because, the patient should take an immune suppressant medication after surgery.
“From the very beginning he was the patient with the worst circumstances,” said Dr. Beth Malsin, a lung and critical care specialist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, said in that statement.
Dr. Beth Malsin also says that her team works day and night so that the patient gets enough oxygen and keeps the patient’s organs running. But the good news came to the team of doctors when the patient was declared negative of the COVID-19.
The lung transportation surgery ran for ten hours, and was longer than in general lung surgery. This is due to patients experiencing swelling of the lungs due to COVID-19. According to the doctor’s team, the lungs of this patient have been sticky in the heart, chest wall and diaphragm. Dr. Ankit Bharat, head of thoracic surgery and surgical Director of lung transplant Program at Northwestern Medicine, said the lung damage to his patients was the most severe lung damage he had seen.
Fortunately, the patient does not have a disturbing health condition. After surgery the patient suppressor the immune system for a mild illness, but it is still unclear whether the drug makes the patient more susceptible to COVID-19.
The patient is currently in the recovery stage and has communicated with his family. But at this time the patient should still use the ventilator to help him breathe, not only that the patient should also take medication so that his body does not reject his new lungs. The lung Transplan was the only way for him to survive the COVID-19.
“We want another transplant center to know that although the transplant procedure in these patients is quite technically difficult, it can be done safely, and it offers COVID-19 patients who are severely ill another option for survival, ” said Bharat.
Nearly 85-90 percent of patients who did the transportation had managed to survive. But there is still no explanation of how a child in his 20s gets a COVID-19 very badly.