A woman in Japan has become the world’s first coronavirus patient to undergo a living donor lung transplant.
The patient got parts of the lungs of her son and her husband after lung failure resulting from the repercussions of her infection with the Coronavirus.
Doctors in Kyoto hope she will make a full recovery within months.
Waiting lists for whole lung transplants, where organs are provided by deceased donors – are very long in Japan and elsewhere around the world.
The transplant at Kyoto University Hospital took about 11 hours. Doctors said the donors and the patient were in a stable condition.
The hospital said that dozens of lung transplants have been performed to treat the repercussions of infection with the Coronavirus in China, Europe and the United States, using the lungs of dead donors, but the waiting list may extend for years in Japan.
When it became clear that the patient – who had no other illnesses – would need a lung transplant in order to survive, her son and her husband decided to donate a portion of their lungs. They were warned of the resulting health risks.
Professor Hiroshi Date, the thoracic surgeon who was in charge of the operation, told Kyodo News, “I think there is a lot of hope for this type of treatment, in the sense that it creates a new option.”