Hyderabad, April 19 : Doctors at the Krishna Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS), have performed 12 Covid double lung transplants amid 50 lung and heart transplants overall between September 2020 and April 2021, the institution said.

This is by far the highest number of Covid double lung transplant procedures performed at a single healthcare institute in Asia in the past eight months.

The Heart & Lung Transplant Institute received critical patients from across the country, and some among these required advanced respiratory support (ECMO) for respiratory failure caused due to Covid-19 virus.

These patients were brought in from Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Delhi, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.

"The team has performed 12 double lung transplants for patients with respiratory failures caused due to Covid-19 and 38 heart, double lung and combined heart double lung transplants for patients suffering from advanced cardio respiratory failure since September 2020," said Dr. Sandeep Attawar, Program Director and Chair, Thoracic Organ Transplant programme, KIMS Hospitals.

While in the past, the focus was on chronic respiratory ailments, in the past eight months, the focus had to be shifted to management of advanced respiratory failure caused due to Covid-19 pandemic, he said.

"With 50 thoracic transplant procedures involving both lungs and heart, KIMS once again established its authority as one of the best healthcare institutions, not just in the country, but across Asia," said Dr B Bhaskar Rao, Managing Director, KIMS Hospitals.

The team at the KIMS Heart & Lung Transplant Institute believes that the course of Covid-19 infection in an individual is unpredictable; but patients who have lung involvement and develop respiratory failure early in the course of illness tend to have more severe disease. Advanced respiratory support like ECMO should be considered early in the management of these patients and should not be tried as salvage therapy. Patients who fail to show signs of improvement on ECMO even after 2-4 weeks should be considered for lung transplant.

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