Health Editor’s Note: First China and then the U.S. have performed successful lung transplants on patients whose lungs had been destroyed by COVID-19….Carol
MedUni Vienna/Vienna General Hospital carries out Europe’s first lung transplant on coronavirus patient
(Vienna, 25 May 2020) Last week, the Department of Surgery of MedUni Vienna/Vienna General Hospital carried out an urgent and highly complex lung transplant on a 45-year-old woman from Carinthia, who has developed severe respiratory failure as a result of Covid-19. The team led by Walter Klepetko, Head of the Department of Surgery and of the Division of Thoracic Surgery, successfully replaced the patient’s lungs, which had been damaged beyond repair, with new donor lungs. This is the first time in Europe that a Covid-19 patient has been given a lung transplant in an otherwise hopeless situation.
“We are very satisfied with the patient’s condition, given the extremely difficult initial circumstances. Only a few days after the procedure, the patient is well on the way to recovery,” says Klepetko.
Ventilation had become practically impossible
From being completely healthy, the patient contracted coronavirus about eight weeks ago and went on to suffer complete respiratory failure, so that even artificial ventilation was no longer possible and she could only be kept alive by means of a circulation pump (ECMO – Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation).