The patient already had lung silicosis – a condition caused by inhaling silica dust – and the Covid-19 infection made the situation worse.(File photo for representation)
The patient already had lung silicosis – a condition caused by inhaling silica dust – and the Covid-19 infection made the situation worse.(File photo for representation)

Max hospital conducts Delhi’s first lung transplant in Covid-19 patient

Doctors from a private hospital in the city conducted Delhi’s first lung transplant and that too in a patient who has recovered from coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON DEC 02, 2020 08:13 AM IST

Doctors from a private hospital in the city conducted Delhi’s first lung transplant and that too in a patient who has recovered from coronavirus disease (Covid-19). The 31-year-old man had developed fibrosis, a condition where the lung tissues harden after healing from an injury making it difficult to breathe. The patient already had lung silicosis – a condition caused by inhaling silica dust – and the Covid-19 infection made the situation worse.

Lung fibrosis is one of the known sequallae – a condition following a disease – of Covid-19.

So far, there have been at least two instances of lung transplant in Covid-19 patients reported from India one in 48-year-old businessman from Gurugram who was operated upon in Chennai and a 32-year-old from Chandigarh who underwent the surgery in Hyderabad.

A team of 15 doctors from Max hospital, Saket operated upon the recipient from Hardoi on November 28. The donor was a 49-year-old woman from Jaipur who had suffered fatal head injuries in a road traffic accident. The lungs were flown into Delhi airport from where a green corridor was created, making it possible for the lungs to cover 18.3 km journey in just 18 minutes.

A lung remains viable outside the body only for 8 hours. “Among all the solid organ transplants, lungs are the most fragile organs. Since most donors are road traffic accident victims, the trauma triggers vomiting in some donors that can go to the lungs and damage them. Lungs being rich in lymphoid tissue are more prone to rejection as well,” said Dr Rahul Chandola, one of the doctors who performed the surgery. He is the associate director of adult cardio-thoracic and vascular surgery and a heart and lung transplant specialist at Max Smart Super Speciality hospital, Saket.

Dr Gurpreet Singh, V P operations, Max Hospital, Saket Complex said, “It is indeed a matter of great pride for us to be conducting the first ever lung transplant in North India on a critically ill, Covid impacted patient. I would also like to commend the initiative taken by the donor family who decided to donate organs even in their time of loss.

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