(CMR) The following was shared from MedCase on Instagram:
This is a case reported by The NY Times of a young female in her 20s who contracted COVID in its most severe form. The severe cytokine storm basically obliterated her lungs requiring ECMO. Her only chance for survival was a double lung transplant which they did do at Northwestern. Of note, she reportedly was on an immunosuppressive drug (story evolving).
If you see the lung on the right (patient's lung that was removed), the whole thing is inflamed, scarred, and just yucky. Nothing like the one on the left which is soft, smooth, and able to aerate like a balloon.
Per the transplant surgeon Dr. Ankit Bharat, this was “the sickest patient whom he had ever given a transplant.”
Because of all the inflammation, the lungs were “completely plastered to the tissue around them, the heart, the chest wall and diaphragm.”
This was the first case of irreversible COVID damage that was salvaged by a lung transplant in the USA. Given her young age and healthy status otherwise, it was worth the effort. Let’s hope she recovers. This may not be an option for most patients, but perhaps it could save a few young healthy ones who were at the right place who would otherwise die if no options remained.
So just in case anyone still thinks COVID is just the flu… It ain’t.