The first lung transplant on a patient with acute respiratory failure due to the COVID 19 virus was performed in The Thoracic Surgery Department at Foch Hospital (France).
This patient, who was initially treated in the intensive care unit of Pr Sébastien Préau at Lille University Hospital, had developed a very serious form of respiratory impairment responsible for the almost complete destruction of both his lungs.
Despite several weeks of optimal care in his home centre, the patient's condition showed no signs of improvement, making a lung transplant necessary.
A unique operation in France
It was in this context that the patient was transferred to Foch Hospital in order to complete his assessment before the final transplant decision.
"The choice to resort to this ultimate and exceptional therapy is not a simple one and is subject to the results of numerous concordant complementary examinations. The aim of these tests is to detect potential contraindications that would cause the failure of this cumbersome programme," emphasises Professor Édouard Sage, head of the lung transplant programme at Foch Hospital.
Thanks to the expertise of all the teams at Foch Hospital, the long and difficult operation went perfectly and the immediate aftermath of the operation, a few days after the transplant, is relatively simple.
"However, we must remain cautious, because the recovery of a lung transplant patient is often long and sometimes difficult" insists Pr Edouard Sage.