Surgeons at Chicago hospital perform one of the world’s first double-lung transplants on a COVID patient using organs from a donor who previously tested positive for the virus

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  • The patient, an Illinois healthcare worker in his 60s, tested positive for COVID-19 in May 2020
  • He became so ill that he was put on life support and transferred to Northwestern Medicine in February, where he was placed on the lung transplant list
  • Within a week, he was matched with a donor who had recovered from the virus before dying due to an unrelated cause
  • Surgeons performed a lung biopsy on the donor organs and tested lung fluid to make sure the donor had completely cleared the virus
  • The surgery was successful and is believed to be among the world’s first ‘Covid to Covid’ lung transplants A Chicago hospital says doctors have successfully performed one of the world’s first double-lung transplants on a COVID-19 patient using the organs of a donor who had recovered from the disease. Surgeons at Northwestern Medicine said the recipient was diagnosed with coronavirus last year and eventually became so sick that he was on life support and in dire need of a transplant. The lungs came from a donor who previously tested positive for the virus, but only experienced mild symptoms – and recuperated – before dying of an unrelated cause.Doctors have previously stated that the risky surgeries may become a standard procedure for COVID-19 patients who are on the brink of death.  
An Illinois man in his 60s became so ill from COVID-19 he was put on life support and transferred to Northwestern Medicine in February, where he was placed on the lung transplant list (left). Within a week, he was matched with a donor who had recovered from the virus before dying due to an unrelated cause (right)
Surgeons performed a lung biopsy on the donor organs and tested lung fluid to make sure the donor had completely cleared the virus. Pictured: A team of surgeons at Northwestern Medicine

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