Coronavirus: death of a transplant recipient of lungs infected with Covid-19

A woman transplanted from two lungs infected with Covid-19 has died in the United States, her doctors have announced. However, upstream withdrawals had been negative.

This is a first qualified as “tragic” by doctors. Indeed, a Michigan woman died of Covid-19 in the United States two months after having two lungs transplanted . And it looks like the virus was introduced through the transplanted lungs. However, all the tests had been done beforehand on the donor, whose family assures us that she had not traveled recently and did not show any symptoms. 

“We would have absolutely not used the lungs if the Covid test had been positive”, defended Dr. Daniel Kaul, director of the service of infectious diseases and transplants, quoted by  Slate , which takes up information from  Kaiser Health News . Dr. Kaul was also the co-author of a report on this case, published in the American Journal of Transplantation, add our colleagues. 

A “tragic case” because very rare

Despite the nose and throat swabs from the two negative patients, the recipient developed symptoms three days after receiving the lungs. After  the fever and breathing problems , tests also showed signs of a lung infection. The doctor at Ann Harbor Hospital who handled the organs was also infected. 

“All the screening tests that we normally do and are able to do, we have done,” says Dr Daniel Kaul. The patient tested negative from the nose and throat swabs, and it took respiratory system swabs to return positive for Covid-19. Treated with remdesivir and blood plasma from former patients, the patient’s condition did not improve. 

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