Friday, September 24, 2021

New lease of life with double lung transplant

(This post is a part of the monthly We Are The World Blogfest that goes out on the last Friday of every month to highlight the positive stories around us. On Facebook and on Twitter.)

In the midst of all the Covid-triggered gloom and doom, there are happy stories too, of people who have battled their way out.

One such is from here in Bengaluru, that of Dr Sanath Kumar, a 30-year-old anaesthetist, who contracted Covid on May 8 this year, while working with patients at a hospital.

His condition deteriorated to acute lung damage, and he had to be put on mechanical ventilation. Doctors determined that there was no option but to go in for a 'double lung transplant'.

They waited for a suitable match, while Dr Kumar's life was sustained by connecting him to an ECMO (Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation), which is a machine that does the work of the lungs and the heart.

He was on ECMO support for four weeks before a suitable match was eventually found, and the transplant was done on June 21.

After a three-month-long recuperation, he was discharged from the hospital on the 16th of this month.

This is what Dr Sanath Kumar said:  “When I tested positive and started taking medicines, I thought I would recover soon. I had never imagined that my health would deteriorate so much and end up having a lung transplant.”

Incidentally, in December last year, a patient from Haryana, whose lung function had similarly deteriorated because of Covid survived for as long as 53 days on ECMO, that's almost two months, at a hospital in Hyderabad, before doctors there could do a double lung transplant on him. 

Apparently, this is the longest duration of ECMO support for a lung-impaired patient in India.


The Hindu, India Today, Pixabay


  1. Hari OM
    Medical science and technology has something magical about it... for those who are able to obtain it... YAM xx

  2. Hi Pradeep - that's an amazing story, or should I say both ... I haven't heard of anyone getting a double lung transplant during this time - so you've opened my eyes to that possibility. How wonderful for the doctor, as too the other patient ... incredible. Thanks for this uplifting post ... Hilary

  3. Thanks for the good news story. Medical technology has advanced so much it is unbelievable. I recently read that a university lab here is experimenting growing a kidney from the tissue of a person who needs kidney and when it is fully grown it can be transplanted into that person. When this comes, it will help millions of people who need a kidney.

    1. Very interesting! Pushing the frontiers of possibilities!

  4. This is an amazing story Pradeep - not only as a #WATWB post. Technology can be so beneficial in many ways. Were these two men donated lungs I wonder? I think so - so gratitude due to those who donated and to the medical team in India who performed them twice. All success to the two patients too!

  5. THAT is truly amazing. A double lung transplant. I did not know until I read this that such a thing was possible. Please keep us updated on how he is doing front time to time?

  6. There lot more good in world that bad.
    Coffee is on and stay safe

  7. How incredible! Thank you for sharing.