First Post-COVID-19 Double-Lung Transplant Performed

The patient suffered severe post-COVID respiratory failure after spending months on an artificial lung.

A recent EurekAlert! article a 61-year-old man in Portugal received the first double-lung transplant after complications from COVID-19. After contracting the virus in January of 2021, the man underwent the procedure in July after a series of unfortunate complications. The man had underlying issues related to cholesterol levels and stomach inflammation. Though he was placed on a ventilator, his oxygen levels continued to deteriorate, requiring advanced lung support therapy.

After three months of infections, including pneumonia and prostatitis, blood clots, and a life-threatening reaction to a blood-thinning drug, doctors determined his lungs were permanently damaged and wouldn’t recover. He then underwent the seven hour double-lung transplant surgery and two weeks of post-op care. Though it’s been six months since the transplant, the patient is far from full recovery, but things are on the right track. He is currently undergoing rehabilitation to improve mobility, lung function, and quality of life.

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