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Doctors successfully perform lung transplant on COVID-19 patient

All News 09:03 July 02, 2020

SEOUL, July 2 (Yonhap) -- A South Korean woman in her 50s has received a lung transplant after the novel coronavirus ravaged her respiratory system, doctors said Thursday.

Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital said a donor's lungs were successfully transplanted to the severely ill COVID-19 patient on June 21. Her identity was withheld.

The procedure marks the first successful lung transplant of a COVID-19 patient in South Korea and the ninth in the world, it said. Similar transports have been reported in China, the United States and Austria.

This photo provided by Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital on July 2, 2020, shows a COVID-19 patient who received a lung transplant in late June after the coronavirus damaged her respiratory system. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital said the patient has now recovered to the point of breathing on her own while undergoing a rehabilitation program to restore her physical strength.

The critically ill patient was hospitalized on Feb. 29 and was immediately put on a respirator. Her conditions further worsened, and doctors had to put her on an ECMO machine the next day.

The coronavirus soon disappeared from her body, but her lungs began to harden, requiring a transplant, doctors said.

The patient had been breathing with the assistance of the ECMO machine for 112 days, the longest ECMO treatment among COVID-19 cases in the world, they said.

The new coronavirus has infected 12,800 South Koreans so far, with the death toll reaching 282.

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