A female patient from Michigan succumbed to COVID-19 after a successful double-lung transplant turned out to be a tragic case of an organ infection.
The donor was not tested positive previously, and no symptoms of the disease have been found.
Uncovering the Tragic Case of an Organ Transplant
The recovery that was expected to happen was reversed to a gruesome scene of infection. While it appeared to be an isolated case, it was the only case among 40,000 transplants that were operated on last year.
It was confirmed by the University of Michigan Medical School experts that it was the first time that COVID-19 transmission is possible through an organ transplant.
In addition, the surgeon who operated on the patient was also reported to be infected by the virus but afterward has recovered. The recent case gave a call to the medical practitioners to be more careful in conducting tests before doing organ transplants.
According to the Director of Michigan Medicine, Dr. Daniel Kaul who specializes in transplanting said that they already obtained the sample swabs from the lungs, throat, and nose of the patient.
"We would absolutely not have used the lungs if we'd had a positive COVID test. All the screening that we normally do and are able to do, we did," Dr. Kaul told Health News via Yahoo.
Before undergoing a lung transplant, the woman had already suffered from a brain injury which she got in a car accident. Although she was COVID-19 negative, the infection was something that baffled the experts.
Furthermore, the patient's family said that the donor had no recent travel history, and she had not shown any signs like fever and diarrhea. It was suspected that she could be exposed to someone who was positive to COVID-19.
Huff Post reported that the doctors said that the patient has started to experience a fever, as well as respiratory problems and low blood pressure three days after the operation.
In this regard, the doctors took samples from the nose and throat because the donor also suffered heart problems and septic shock.
It was found out that the samples from the throat and nose were negative. However, the lung sample was COVID-19 positive. Moreover, the patient had only developed a worsening condition in the next few weeks.
Medications Could Not Save The Patient
Besides the conditions that were mentioned a while ago, the patient continued to suffer from multiple organ dysfunction. She was given remdesivir, antiviral medication, and a two-session convalescent plasma, yet her condition showed no improvements at all.
It took two months before she died due to COVID-19 acquired from the lung transplant.
Due to the case, health care professionals are now required to wear protective equipment like eye protection and an N95 mask during the organ transplant operation.
Previously, since doctors and the patient were tested negative for the virus, the former no longer needed to wear them.
In the future, a much tighter procedure could be implemented to avoid the shocking occurrence to happen again. Several evaluations and tests could be imposed before proceeding to the transplant.
This article is owned by Tech Times.
Written by Joen Coronel