A patient who underwent a dual heart-and-lung transplant at Vanderbilt University Medical Center has been transferred out of intensive care following the procedure Sept. 24. The hospital says it was the world’s first such transplant surgery on a patient with COVID-19, and the first heart-lung operation at Vanderbilt since 2006.
The young man already had heart trouble before contracting COVID-19 in June. But Dr. Ashish Shah, who helped perform the surgery, says COVID damaged the man’s lungs too. He was transferred from the University of Mississippi Medical Center.
“He was slipping fast, in and out of the hospital and certainly by the time we operated on him, his heart was really done,” Shah said in a news release.
A dual transplant is rarely done because of the risk of complications. And making this case even more rare, Vanderbilt used organs from a donor with hepatitis C. The transplant center has been finding ways to use organs from hepatitis C donors as a way to expand the supply and perform more of the operations.