A COVID-19 patient in Japan has received the world’s first lung transplant from living donors.
Receiving transplant lung tissue from her son and husband, the patient underwent an 11-hour operation at Kyoto University Hospital to receive her transplant last Wednesday.
The woman who underwent the operation contracted COVID-19 late last year. According to Kyoto University Hospital, she spent months on a life support machine acting as an artificial lung, because hers had become no longer functional. It’s expected that she’ll recover from last week’s operation within months.
As is the case around the world, waiting lists for lung transplants from organ donors who have passed away are very long in Japan.
Dr. Hiroshi Date—who led the operation—said in a statement that the success of this transplant from living donors can provide optimism among others suffering severe lung damage caused by the virus. “I think there is a lot of hope for this treatment in the sense that it creates a new option,” the thoracic surgeon said to Kyodo News.
(WATCH the Nippon TV News 24 Japan story about the operation below.)
Featured image: Kyoto University Hospital
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