Sunday, September 20, 2020

Doctors perform India’s first double lung transplant on COVID patient

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Hyderabad: In a first of its kind procedure in India, doctors at the Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS) here successfully performed double lung transplant surgery on a Covid-19 patient.

The 32-year-old patient from Chandigarh, who received lungs from a brain-dead person in Kolkata, was discharged from the hospital on Friday.

The team of doctors was led by Sandeep Attawar, considered a pioneer in heart and lung transplant surgeries in India.

Rizwan alias Monu was suffering from sarcoidosis that affected his lungs significantly, leading to fibrosis of the lungs. The doctors said his condition deteriorated rapidly and double lung transplant was the only permanent option for cure.

The situation worsened when the patient contracted coronavirus while awaiting for his double lung transplant. His oxygen requirement increased from 15 liters/minute to 50 liters/min for the last eight weeks.

“The patient was a severe case of lung sarcoidosis, and Covid-19 only complicated the precarious lung condition. Fortunately, a match to his lungs was found in a person declared brain dead in Kolkata, and the harvested lungs were airlifted to Hyderabad to save the life of the patient,” said Attawar.

According to him, the procedure was complex and had little scope for errors and only a timely transplant of lungs helped save the patient. “What is more important is that good outcomes are difficult to achieve as these patients are extremely sick, undernourished and bed-ridden before the transplant. Post-discharge, he will need close monitoring, bio bubble environment and careful drug control for at least six weeks,” he said.

A veteran in the field of transplant surgeries with an experience of over 24 years, Attawar has so far performed over 12,000 heart surgeries, and over 250 transplant surgeries for lungs, heart, and artificial heart implants (LVAD).

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