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Old 6th July 2020, 06:13 PM   #255
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After a record 112 days on a specialised life-support system, a South Korean Covid-19 patient is recovering from double lung transplant surgery, doctors say, in only the ninth such procedure worldwide since the coronavirus outbreak began.

The doctors who conducted the eight-hour surgery described her destroyed lungs as hard like rock, Reuters reports.

The 50-year-old woman was diagnosed with the disease and hospitalised in late February and then spent 16 weeks on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) support, which involves circulating a patientís blood through a machine that adds oxygen to red blood cells.

Thatís the longest that any Covid-19 patient in the world has spent on ECMO support, her doctors said.

Various drugs such as the anti-malarial hydroxychloroquine, the HIV treatment Kaletra and steroids failed to stop her pulmonary fibrosis - scarring in the lungs - from worsening, said Dr Park Sung-hoon, professor of pulmonary and critical care medicine at Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital.

That left few options other than a lung transplant.

ďThe probability of success in lung transplants on ECMO patients is 50%, and fortunately, our patient was well prepared before the surgery when we found the donor,Ē said Dr Kim Hyoung-soo, director of the hospitalís ECMO programme, who was in charge of the surgery.
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