Woman dies of Covid-19 after double-lung transplant from infected donor
A woman has died of Covid-19 after being given infected lungs in a transplant.
The unnamed patient had been suffering from chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD) and received two new lungs in Michigan last autumn.
But she died two months after the procedure at University Hospital in Ann Arbor, according to a study reported by Kaiser Health News.
It is believed that the lungs were donated by a woman who had died after suffering a serious brain injury during a car accident.
Nose and throat samples are routinely taken from donors and recipients are required to test negative before the operation.
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However, three days later the patient developed worsening fever, hypotension and ventilator requirements.
Doctors sent samples from the lungs to be tested after she showed signs of septic shock – and the results came back positive.
They then tested fluid that was taken from the lungs before the transplant, which also returned a positive result.
The study, which was published in the American Journal of Transplantation, claims this is the first COVID-19 transmission from almost 40,000 transplants in the US last year.
It also states that one of the surgeons that handled the donated lungs became sick and tested positive four days later.
Dr Daniel Richard Kaul, director of the Transplant Infectious Disease Service at the University of Michigan Medical School said: “We would absolutely not have used the lungs if we'd had a positive COVID test.
“All the screening that we normally do and are able to do, we did.”
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