Doctors in Canada have carried out the first double lung transplant on a COVID patient successfully. The patient’s lung had been damaged by COVID-19. 61-year-old Tim Sauve fell sick after contracting COVID-19 in December.
He noticed he was becoming dizzy often at his home. In a few days, he was already in the hospital battling with difficulty in breathing. When it got so serious, Sauve was taken to the intensive care unit at the General Hospital in Toronto.
I was put on 100 percent oxygen at that moment, and after that, there was no turning back, they could not lower my oxygen. At that point, it got very, very serious.Sauve
He was diagnosed with acute respiratory distress syndrome caused by COVID-19 and he was placed on treatment. The extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) treatment helps to pump the blood into an artificial lung to make it oxygenated and then transfers it back to the patient.
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The other organs in Sauve’s body were functioning well, but it wasn’t certain if his lungs would recover. Doctors had to offer him the option of a transplant. A thoracic surgeon, Dr. Marcelo Cypel, said that Sauve had scarring in his lungs due to the virus and had stayed in the ICU for two and half months without improvement.
Dr. Marcelo and his team believed that Sauve could only survive through lung transplantation. Sauve was a COVID patient that went through the first double lung transplant in Canada. Sauve said he felt good after the operation and everyone was surprised he recovered so soon.
Across the globe, about 40 lung transplants have been carried out on patients with COVID-19. This procedure is said to be a high-risk one with medications necessary to prevent any organ rejection. However, lung transplants for COVID patients will add more to the number of people already waiting for lung transplants.