Milan, 18 year old with “burned” lungs from Covid-19: successful transplant



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        It is the first time in Europe for an operation of this type: a similar intervention in Austria on the same days. The pandemic had changed the boy's life: although Francesco, this his name, was young and perfectly healthy, the virus infected him and irreparably damaged his lungs, "burning" all ability to breathe normally.

The story The boy begins to have a fever on March 2 and March 6 is hospitalized in intensive care at the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan. Two days later he is intubated and on March 23 he is connected to the Ecmo machine for extracorporeal circulation. But now his lungs are irreparably compromised, and in mid-April the doctors of San Raffaele, confronting those of the Polyclinic, decide to try to give him new lungs. Something that has never been tried before, except in a few rare cases in China (and in a single case in Vienna, carried out a few days after the Milan intervention carried out on May 18).

The doctors thus plan the strategy and the National Transplant Center also sets in motion. The boy was placed on an urgent waiting list on April 30, and less than two weeks ago the long-awaited turning point: a suitable organ was identified, donated by a dead person in another Region and negative to the coronavirus.

“Being able to perform what appears to be almost a miracle, in the midst of a pandemic – comments the president of the Lombardy Region Attilio Fontana – once again demonstrates the excellence of Lombard healthcare. On behalf of the Board and all the Lombards, I express my heartfelt congratulations to the entire team of the Polyclinic of Milan and to the National Transplant Center, for being pioneers of a practice that can be replicated all over the world, but above all for having given back the life of this young patient, dramatically affected by the virus. To Francesco the greatest wish to return to strength soon “.


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