Doctor Hospital Surgery

A transplant recipient has died from COVID-19 after receiving a donated lung infected with the disease, according to the University of Michigan School of Medicine.

The study, published in the American Journal of Transplantation, claims this is the first known case of a donor to recipient transmission in the United States.

The patient was swabbed for COVID-19 48 hours before the operation and tested negative. The upper respiratory tract of the donated lung also tested negative. Doctors did not test the lower respiratory tract.

Three days after the transplant, the patient developed fever, hypotension, and other symptoms, and tested positive for COVID-19. A surgeon present during the transplant also developed COVID-19.

The study recommends transplant centers test the lower respiratory tract of donated lungs for COVID-19, as well as consider enhancing PPE for health care workers involved in lung transplants.

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