Tuesday, February 23, 2021

A woman who underwent a double lung transplant died of COVID-19. The infection already existed in the donor’s body, but was not detected


right nbcnewc.com, officials at the University of Michigan School of Medicine say it is the first proven case of transmitting coronavirus infection through a transplant. A surgeon who participated in the lung transplant operation was also infected and became ill, but later recovered.

The virus reached the patient’s body with the lungs taken from a woman who died in a car accident. The recipient patient suffered from a very serious lung disease, and the transplant was her only chance at life. Initial COVID-19 tests performed with samples from the donor’s body were negative. The transplant was performed at Ann Harbor University Hospital.

Three days after receiving the lungs, the woman developed a high fever, her blood pressure dropped and she began to have difficulty breathing. Tests indicated a lung infection. His condition later deteriorated, he went into septic shock and began to have heart problems. At this point, the doctors decided to take a test for SARS-CoV-2, which this time tested positive.

Suspicious of the origin of the infection, doctors reanalyzed samples from the lung donor. Pre-transplant tests did not indicate any infection, and the donor’s family said the woman had never had symptoms of COVID-19. Doctors analyzed a sample consisting of fluid taken from inside the donated lungs, and the result was positive for COVID-19. The surgeon who manipulated the lungs was also diagnosed with COVID-19. Doctors performed several genetic tests that showed that both the recipient patient and the surgeon had been infected with the transplanted lungs.

Unfortunately, the health of the woman who received the lungs deteriorated rapidly, and despite all the treatments she received and the procedures she underwent, the woman died 61 days after the transplant.

The case is being reviewed by the medical and scientific community to determine whether and how organs for transplantation can be affected by SARS-CoV-2 infection and how testing procedures against viral infections can be improved to avoid such tragic cases in the future.

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