Vietnam’s first heart-lung transplant recipient dies after 5 days

By Bui Ngoc Long, Thanh Nien News

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A file photo shows a doctor checking on a patient of heart-lung transplant at Hue Central Hospital. The man dies after five days on July 25, 2015. A file photo shows a doctor checking on a patient of heart-lung transplant at Hue Central Hospital. The man dies after five days on July 25, 2015.

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The patient in Vietnam’s first heart-lung transplant in Hue died Saturday, five days after the procedure.
Doctors from Hue Central Hospital said the 40-year-old man who received organs from Ho Chi Minh City Monday did not survive, despite all efforts.
They said heart was healthy after the procedure but the donated lungs were swollen as the donor was put on a respirator for seven days before giving them away, thus the oxygen supply on the recipient was weak.
Doctors had to use the extracorporeal membrane oxygenation technique to give cardiac and respiratory support to help the heart and lungs provide enough gas exchange to his body.
But the technique required him to be anticoagulated with intravenous heparin, a biochemistry compound, and he became weaker as the cuts kept bleeding.
Blood transfusion did not fix the situation.
Doctor Bui Duc Phu, director of the hospital, said his team had hoped for better outcome.
“We have tried our best with help from local and foreign experts. We have prepared enough medicine and blood, but sadly we could not save him.”
The operation was the second heart transplant at the hospital since 2011. It was the first surgical procedure to replace both heart and lungs in the country.
Organs of the donor, who died after a work accident, have been given to five other patients.

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