Delhi , 11th December , 2020: Doctors at Institute of Heart and Lung transplant, Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS), successfully performed double lung transplant on a post covid lung fibrosis patient after bridging him to transplant with extra corporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) for 53 days. The procedure was performed at the KIMS hospital, Hyderabad, and the team of doctors performing the procedure was led by one of the most renowned heart and lung transplant surgeon Dr. Sandeep Attawar.
A 34 year old marketing professional from Haryana state diagnosed to have Covid 19 infection on October 29, 2020. He was initially admitted to a hospital in Delhi. Even after the optimal treatment the condition of the patient continued to worsen and he was initially put on ventilator and later on ECMO support. The investigations showed that the patients lung had suffered severe damage due to covid and had become fibrosed. The only treatment option left for this young gentleman was to undergo a lung transplantation. It was at this time the patients family contacted the Heart and Lung transplant team at KIMS, Hyderabad.
The clinical situation was grim and challenges aplenty. The patient had infection in the blood stream, he was grossly deconditioned being on bed due to the illness and transfer to Hyderabad from Delhi was challenging, waiting time for the organ was uncertain. Dr Attawar and the team after considering all the factors decided to give young man a chance
The patient was successfully shifted to the Heart and Lung transplant Institute, KIMS, Hyderabad. He was stabilised and the infection treated with appropriate antibiotics. The patient was started on bedside physiotherapy to get him in the best possible condition for the transplant. Finally after 53 days of ECMO support a matching donor was found and the patient underwent a double lung transplant on Nov 21, 2020.
Commenting on the procedure, Dr. Sandeep Attawar, Program Director and Chair Thoracic Organ Transplant program said bridging to lung transplant with ECMO is routinely performed across the globe however in India infections pose a challenge with a lot of patients succumbing to infections waiting for the transplant. In this case the challenge was to first treat the infection and then ensuring that the patient remains infection free for the time 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.
The dedicated efforts of team at KIMS ensured that the goals were achieved and the patient underwent a successful double lung transplant after 53 days of ECMO support which is the longest duration of ECMO bridging to lung transplant in India.
Dr. Sandeep Attawar, is one of the most experienced heart and lung transplant surgeons in the country. A veteran in the field of transplant surgeries with over 24-years’ experience, Dr. Attawar has to date performed over 12,000 heart surgeries, and has over 250 transplant surgeries for lungs, heart, and artificial heart implants (LVAD) to his credit.