Medical Breakthrough: Successful Lung Transplant for 16-Year-Old with Irreversible Lung Fibrosis

Medical Breakthrough: Successful Lung Transplant for 16-Year-Old with Irreversible Lung Fibrosis

A 16-year-old boy who had been battling irreversible lung fibrosis underwent a lung transplant at Medica Superspecialty Hospital on Saturday, marking the second lung transplant attempt in Bengal and eastern India. 

The teenager, hailing from Barasat, had been under ECMO support at the hospital since May 18, following a diagnosis of irreversible lung fibrosis caused by paraquat poisoning. Paraquat, a highly toxic herbicide, predominantly affects the lungs, leading to potentially fatal pulmonary damage. The high mortality rate of paraquat poisoning is attributable to the lack of apt medication and clinical limitations of  the supportive treatment.

As a lung transplant emerged as the only viable option, the hospital issued a nationwide request for a matching organ several weeks ago. ROTTO (East) played a proactive role, and on Friday, the hospital received notification of matching lungs from a brain-dead 41-year-old patient at Bhubaneshwar's SUM Ultimate Hospital. The lung retrieval team promptly traveled to Bhubaneshwar and returned with the organ on Saturday night. 

The procedure, considered more complex than other organ transplants, poses significant challenges. However, the transplant surgery, performed late into the night, proved successful. The boy is currently being monitored by the hospital's medical team, who highlighted the critical nature of the upcoming weeks for his recovery. 

This medical achievement marks a significant milestone for Bengal and eastern India, as lung transplants were introduced to the region on September 20, 2021. While acknowledging the complexity and risks associated with lung transplants, health department officials praised the efforts of the Medica team and wished them success. It's worth noting that, apart from Medica, IPGMER is the only other institute in Bengal authorized to perform lung transplants. 

This breakthrough offers hope to patients with severe lung conditions, showcasing advancements in medical expertise and the potential for life-saving interventions.

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