Sharp Increase In Number Of Israelis Awaiting Lung Transplants

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Illustrative. Medical staff operate an ECMO machine at Shaare Tzedek Medical Center in Jerusalem

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There has been a sharp rise in the number of Israelis waiting for lung transplants in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, Yediot Achranot reported last week.

The report stated that at least 15 Israelis are currently being tested for compatibility for lung transplants. All of them are currently dependent on ventilators or ECMO machines as a result of coronavirus complications.

“There were several coronavirus waves and what characterized the last wave is mainly the younger patients and the intensive care units full of recovered patients in relatively stable condition, but with irreversible damage to their lungs,” said Dr. Liran Levy, a transplant pulmonologist at Sheba Medical Center’s Institute of Pulmonary Medicine.

“There are seven post-COVID patients between the ages of 35-55 in Sheba alone with serious damage to their lungs, who are on ECMO machines. Their lungs are not improving. In the past few weeks, other hospitals have turned to us to examine the feasibility of lung transplants.”

“This has led to a situation in which patients who are waiting at home for transplants must continue waiting for a long duration because for recovered [coronavirus] patients, it is a question of immediate life or death,” Dr. Levy explained. “At the same time, the number of lung donations has significantly dropped.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)