The infection did not manifest itself before the operation. The donor who died in a car accident had no health problems and the post-mortem test was negative.
However, three days after the operation, the woman who received the lungs developed a fever, a drop in blood pressure and difficulty breathing. The patient’s condition deteriorated rapidly, and despite receiving remdesivir, she died 61 days after the transplant.
When it became clear that the patient had died of covid-19, doctors began looking for where she became infected. Subsequently, it became apparent that the source of the infection must have been in the transplanted organ. Additional analysis of fluid collected from the lungs prior to transplantation subsequently confirmed this.
They said they were doing what they could
Standard preoperative tests may need to be extended because they did not detect infection.
“We would definitely not use the lungs, which would have a positive covid test. We did all the tests that are routinely done and we could do, ”said Daniel Kaul, director of transplantation at the Michigan School of Medicine.
Kaul documented the case and wrote a study about it in the American Journal of Transplantation. He noted that 40,000 transplants had been performed in the United States last year, and the transfer of coronavirus to recipients was confirmed in a single case.
Nevertheless, the question now is on the table as to whether the current testing is sufficient and it should not be possible to take samples from inside the lungs at the same time as swabs from inside the neck and nose.
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