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First lung transplant from live donors done in Japan

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Posted: Thursday, April 8, 2021. 10:14 am CST.

By Rubén Morales Iglesias: The first successful lung transplant from a live donor has been done in Japan. Nikkei Asia news service said that the doctors at the Kyoto University Hospital transplanted lung tissue to a woman who was suffering from serious pulmonary damage after contracting COVID-19.

The woman reportedly developed pneumonia after falling ill from COVID-19 late last year and had to be put on mechanical respiration.

Her husband and son were the donors.

“The world’s first living donor lung transplant is expected to be a promising treatment for patients who have serious lung disorders,” said a release by the Kyoto University Hospital.

“There was no hope of recovery from the lung disorder, and the only way to save her life was to transplant the lung.”

The woman’s condition was so deteriorated that both of her lungs were failing even after undergoing a three-month treatment.  During the 11-hour operation, doctors transplanted parts of the lungs from her husband and son. Kyoto University Hospital said the two donors are doing well.

Approximately 40 lung transplants have been done in the United States, China, and Europe according to international sources, but they have been from brain-dead donors.



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