The life-saving operation of a Michigan woman turned into a tragedy, when she contracted “Covid-19” from a lung transplant last year and died shortly after.
This is the first case in which doctors have confirmed the transmission of “Covid-19” through an organ transplant, according to the case report, published on February 10 in the American Journal of Transplantation.
The report said that the surgeon who participated in the woman’s case also contracted “Covid-19”, most likely during the transplant. He later recovered, according to Kaiser Health News.
This is the only confirmed case of “Covid-19”, which spreads through organ transplantation among nearly 40,000 organ transplants that were performed in 2020, and transmission through this is rare, according to Kaiser Health News, but the doctors involved in the case They call for more comprehensive testing of “Covid-19” for lung donors to prevent such transmission.
In this case, the donor, who died in a car accident, was infected without knowledge of “Covid-19” and underwent standard nose and throat tests, which were negative.
“We wouldn’t have used the lungs at all if we had had a positive Covid test,” Dr. Daniel Cowell, director of the Infectious Diseases Service for Organ Transplantation at Michigan Medicine and lead author of the report, told Kaiser Health News.
The recipient of a lung transplant was a woman with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Her implantation went smoothly, but only three days after the operation, she developed a fever and breathing problems and was put on a ventilator. And samples from her lungs were tested positive for “Covid-19”.
Although the standard “Covid-19” tests were negative, doctors found a sample of fluids that had been washed through the donor’s lungs. The results of this lung fluid sample test were positive for “Covid-19”.
The genetic sequence revealed that the coronavirus that infected the recipient and the donor was identical, which confirms that the recipient contracted the virus from the donor’s lungs.
The report said that the surgeon, who fell ill four days after the transplant, was also infected with an almost identical virus, which he may have contracted from a substance expelled from the donor’s lungs during the operation.
After contracting “Covid-19”, the transplant recipient developed multiple organ failure and died two months later, despite extensive treatment, Kaiser Health News reported.
“Transplant centers and organ purchasing organizations should perform SARS-CoV-2 testing of lower respiratory tract samples (from deep in the lungs) from potential lung donors,” the authors write in their paper.
In addition, transplant centers should “consider improved personal protective equipment for health care workers involved in purchasing and transplanting lungs,” such as N95 masks and eye protection.
Source: Live Science