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A ‘new category’ of transplant patients is emerging



(Newser)
– Another gloomy sidebar to the COVID story: the fact that the disease gives rise to what a doctor calls “a whole new category of transplant patients.” NBC News charts the development of thoughts about giving new lungs or hearts to patients who have seen these organs essentially destroyed by the disease: Initially, with little known about the disease, and whether a COVID patient could even survive a transplant, few of them were complete (a point NBC illustrates via the case of a 53-year-old who needed new lungs in October and had to call a number of hospitals to find one who was willing to take a chance for him). But at the end of the month, new codes were created that mark a transplant due to a COVID diagnosis, and per. As of March 31

, 58 such transplants have been logged – 54 lungs and 4 heart.

Expect the number to climb. Dr. David Weill, who used to lead the Stanford University Medical Center’s lung and heart-lung transplant program and now consults, writes this to STAT News: “COVID-19-related lung disease is an unwelcome byproduct of the pandemic, but one I think will be part of the transplant practice in the coming years. “And the patients look different, where a surgeon says it is” a very different profile … These patients had normal lung function. They are young and now they are in mechanical ventilation or ECMO and fight for their lives. ” If you’re wondering how this has affected America’s notoriously long waiting list for transplantation, the answer does not seem to be much. This is mainly due to the fact that most people on the list of 107,000 people need a kidney, which is not a body that is so affected by COVID. Only about 1,000 people need lungs. (Read more organ transplant stories.)




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