The first COVID-19 patient in the US to receive a double lung transplant was discharged from the hospital this week, news reports said.
After this Corona virus Mayra Ramirez, 28, irreversibly damaged her lungs and underwent a transplant on June 5. Live Science previously reported. To qualify for the procedure, she first had to test a negative for the procedure virus, because transplant patients have to take immunosuppressive medication after the operation. The drugs prevent the body from rejecting the new organ, but limp for it immune systemAbility to ward off an active infection.
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Ramirez woke up after the 10-hour operation with “all these tubes” that came out of her – “I just couldn’t see my own body,” she said The New York Times. Before the operation, Ramirez spent six weeks in the Intensive care unit (ICU) on a ventilator and an ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation) machine that pumps oxygen-containing blood through the body when the heart and lungs cannot do this alone.
“I don’t remember anything during my six weeks in the COVID intensive care unit. When I finally woke up, it was mid-June and I had no idea why I was in a hospital bed,” said Ramirez in the northwest statement. When she finally woke up, her nurses asked if she knew the date, and Ramirez suspected it was early May, according to the Times. She was able to return home on July 29th.
Ramirez has to take anti-rejection medication for the rest of her life, but because she is young and healthy, “she’s getting stronger,” said her surgeon Dr. Ankit Bharat told the New York Times. After lung transplants, more than 85% to 90% of patients survive a year and can function independently in daily life, Live Science previously reported. About 50% of lung transplant recipients survive at least five years after the procedure, and there are reports that some people live 20 years or more United Kingdom National Health Service.
“She asked if she could go skydiving. We’ll probably get her there in a few months,” said Bharat about Ramirez.
After Ramirez’s transplant, Northwestern performed a second double lung transplant for Brian Kuhns, a 62-year-old coronavirus patient.
“Mayra and Brian would not be alive today without the double lung transplant,” said Bharat in the statement. “COVID-19 completely destroyed theirs lungand they were seriously ill when they entered the transplant process, which made it a daunting undertaking. “The procedure usually takes six to seven hours, but both Kuhns and Ramirez underwent surgery for 10 hours because there was so much inflammation and dead tissue in their lungs.
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With both Kuhns and Ramirez recovering, Northwestern is waiting with two other COVID-19 patients for double lung transplants, and the hospital is consulting other transplant centers on how to address the difficult operation, the Times reported.
“It will be a challenge for doctors to determine which patients are really candidates and when they are,” said Dr. Tiago Machuca, thoracic surgeon at the University of Florida Health Shands Hospital in Gainesville, told The Times. A COVID-19 patient transferred from another state recently received a double lung transplant at Shands Hospital.
“We don’t want to do it too early if the patient can still recover from COVID lung disease and resume with a good quality of life, but you also don’t want to miss the boat and have a patient where it makes no sense to be the patient too sick, “he said.
“I think people need to recognize this option earlier and at least start talking about it before it comes to this point,” Bharat told The Times.
Originally published on Live Science.