clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

This COVID-19 patient just had the world’s first living donor lung transplant

Doctors in Japan said they performed the world’s first living transplant for lungs to a coronavirus patient

This combination of radiographs provided on April 9, 2021, by Kyoto University Hospital, shows the chest of a patient before the surgery, left, and after the surgery, right.
This combination of radiographs provided on April 9, 2021, by Kyoto University Hospital, shows the chest of a patient before the surgery, left, and after the surgery, right.
Associated Press

A Japanese woman who suffered from COVID-19 reportedly received the world’s first living donor lung transplant, CNN reports.

  • The woman’s lungs were so severely damaged that she needed lung tissue from her husband and son, according to CNN.
  • Kyoto University Hospital said the surgery lasted for 11 hours. A medical team of 30 people performed the surgery.

According to CNN, some people around the world have had lung transplants as they recovered from COVID-19. But, according to Kyoto hospital, this was the first time that lung tissue from a living person was given to someone who suffered from the novel coronavirus.

The woman didn’t have any preexisting conditions. Her health “deteriorated rapidly soon after becoming infected,” according to The Washington Post. Per Kyodo News, doctors didn’t think the woman could survive without a lung transplant. Her husband and son decided to donate parts of their lungs to save the woman.

Hiroshi Date, a thoracic surgeon who led the operation, told Kyodo News the treatment could be a big deal moving forward.

  • “I think there is a lot of hope for this treatment in the sense that it creates a new option.”

Date said this could help other people besides COVID-19 patients.

  • “We demonstrated that we now have an option of lung transplants,” he said, according to The Washington Post.