Surgeons save’s a patient’s life by removing both her lungs for six days before a transplant.
In a medical world first, doctors miraculously kept Melissa Benoit alive before her double lung operation by resorting to the unprecedented solution.
The cystic fibrosis sufferer had arrived at hospital with a severe lung infection and her family were told she had just hours to live.
Dr Niall Ferguson, of Toronto General Hospital in Canada, said:
“It was a difficult discussion because when we’re talking about something that had never to our knowledge been done before, there were a lot of unknowns.”
Flu had left the then 32-year-old patient fighting off respiratory failure.
Dr Ferguson said:
“She got into a spiral from which her lungs were not going to recover. Her only hope of recovery was a lung transplant.”
To help her breathe and to gain more time, doctors put her on Extra-Corporeal Lung Support, a temporary life support medical device often used to help bridge patients waiting for a transplant.
The machine functions as the lungs normally do. It drains blood from the body, oxygenates it and removes the carbon dioxide, and then pumps the cleaned blood back into the patient.
For other patients waiting for a lung donor, this machine is enough to help them survive. Their lungs are kept in their body until new ones can be transplanted into them.Continue readingtopics from