Hyderabad witnessed a double-lung transplant being performed on a post-COVID lung fibrosis patient. Doctors successfully conducted the surgery after bridging the patient to transplant with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) for 53 days. This surgery marked the longest ever period for ECMO bridging in India, which is done to prepare smoothly for the procedure.
The 34-year-old male patient belonging to Haryana had been diagnosed with COVID-19 on October 29. Initially being admitted to a hospital in Delhi, he had to be put on ECMO support owing to severe damages to his lungs. With the Pulmonary Fibrosis worsening and the infection seeping into his bloodstream, the transplant had become paramount to save the patient's life.
In light of the gravity of the situation, he was transferred to Heart and Lung Transplant Institute at Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS) in Hyderabad. Doctors at KIMS first stabilised the patient, post which the infection was also treated upon using suitable antibiotics.
The 53-day-period for the ECMO support was due to the high uncertainty associated with the waiting time for the organ to be available.
"In this case, the challenge was to first treat the infection and then ensuring that the patient remains infection free for the time (being). The patient was waiting for the organ and at the same time, the team had to ensure maintaining optimal functions of the other organs as well," said Dr Sandeep Attawar, Chair and Director of Thoracic Organ Transplant programme at KIMS.