Italy: two successful organ transplants from donors infected with COVID-19

On Thursday, Italy announced two organ transplants from donors who tested positive for COVID-19 to patients who tested negative without causing infections in the latter, which is “the first in the world,” according to the National Center for Transplantation (CNT).

“The first two transplants in the world from deceased donors who are positive for Sars-Cov-2, patients with negative results and devoid of antibodies, were performed in Italy,” – said in a press release from CNT.

“In both cases, the patients received a new heart, and none of them was infected with COVID-19 after the transplant,” the statement said.

The first intervention, carried out in late April in Bologna, involved a 64-year-old man, and the second, in mid-May, to a 15-year-old boy in Rome.

The two patients, “suffering from severe heart disease, were on the national emergency waiting list and received ‘heart transplants’ thanks to permission granted by CNT,” the statement said.

The current protocol only permits transplantation of vital organs from coronavirus-positive donors to patients “positive at the time of transplantation or already immunized due to illness or vaccine,” recalls CNT.

In the two cases under review, “the severity of the clinical condition of the two patients prompted the medical teams of the two centers to request permission from us” for the transplant, explained Massimo Cardillo, director of CNT, quoted in a press release. …

“We calculated that for these two patients, the risk of death or development of serious pathologies associated with the fact that they remained on the waiting list was higher than the possible transfer of pathology from a donor,” he added. adding that both patients “are now healthy and have returned home.”

Since this protocol for transplants from Covid-19 positive donors came into force in December last year, 19 grafts and transplants have been performed, but only these two from negative patients.

All 17 other interventions involved patients who already had Covid-19 and therefore could receive an organ from a positive donor, added the CNT.

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