Sharp rise in number of Israelis waiting for lung transplants

List of 120 Israelis waiting for lung transplants grows by at least 15 people who 'recovered' from coronavirus and are on ECMO, ventilators.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Operation (illustrative)
Operation (illustrative)

The number of Israelis waiting for lung transplants has risen sharply due to the coronavirus pandemic, Yediot Ahronot reported.

According to Yediot Aharonot, at least 15 people "recovered" from coronavirus are being examined for compatibility for lung transplants. All of them are on ventilators or ECMO machines.

"There were several waves of coronavirus," said Dr. Liran Levy, a transplant pulmonologist at Sheba Medical Center's Institute of Pulmonary Medicine. "What characterized the last wave is mainly the younger patients and the intensive care units which are filled with recovered patients in pretty stable condition, but with irreversible damage to their lungs."

"In Sheba alone there are seven people who are post-corona with serious damage to their lungs, who are on ECMO machines and who are between the ages of 35-55. Their lungs are not improving. In the past few weeks, other hospitals have turned to us to examine the feasibility of lung transplants."

According to Dr. Levy, doctors are finding themselves in an ethical dilemma.

"We are causing patients who are waiting at home for transplants to continue waiting a very long time, because for recovered [coronavirus] patients, it is a question of immediate life or death. At the same time, the number of lung donations had dropped very significantly."