Covid-19: woman dies after infected lung transplant

the essential
In the United States, a woman had a lung transplant in the fall. Three days after the transplant, she was diagnosed positive for Covid-19. The patient died two months later.

How could this have happened? In Michigan, a woman in the United States underwent a lung transplant last fall. Her donor was a driver who had been the victim of a road accident: 48 hours before the transplant, she had tested negative for Covid-19.

Only three days after the operation, the operated patient reported the appearance of the first symptoms related to the virus, explains the Hufffington Post. She then complained of fever and difficulty breathing. His blood pressure was also particularly low. In addition, there are heart problems. The patient then performs a screening test: her doctors then diagnose her with Covid-19 contamination.

Death two months after the transplant

Additional analyzes will then be carried out. Doctors scrutinize the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid that was collected during the transplant. The analyzes will then reveal that the American was infected with the virus which was present in the lungs of her donor. Subsequently, we learn that a thoracic surgeon who participated in the operation was also infected. “The viral infection of the recipient of a lung transplant from a donor is not a surprise insofar as cases involving other respiratory viruses (notably the pandemic influenza virus H1N1 in 2009) have already been reported in the international medical literature “, for its part the blog “Biomedical realities” belonging to the newspaper Le Monde.

“This clinical case, with a tragic outcome, invites questions about the appropriate screening strategy for potential donors knowing that the nasopharyngeal RT-PCR test had returned negative in the 48 hours preceding the sample”, adds the site . The infected patient died two months after receiving the bilateral lung transplant. According to l’American Journal of Transplantation, this is the first case of transmission of Covid-19 from the United States by transplantation.

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