Woman gets Covid-19 from lung transplant. This expert blames weak donor testing
The Michigan woman contracted Covid-19 from her double lung transplant last year and died soon after.
According to The Washington Post, the woman and the donor both tested negative for Covid-19 prior to the procedure.
They were tested using a nasal pharyngeal swab before the surgery.
Pulmonologist Dr. Greg Calligaro says a once-off nasal swab is not a very reliable test for organ transplant procedures.
He says the screening of organ donors needs to be rigorous because donor-derived respiratory infections have been well documented in the past.
Dr. Calligaro says this incident appears to be isolated and is the first donor-to-recipient transmission of Covid-19 recorded to date.
At Groote Schuur Hospital, where Dr. Calligaro is based, donors are tested for Covid-19 using a deep lung fluid sample, he tells CapeTalk.
I'm not altogether surprised, because we do know that donor-derived infection - particularly with respiratory viruses - have been well described.Dr Greg Calligaro, Pulmonologist - Respiratory Clinic at Groote Schuur Hospital
Before this pandemic, H1N1 influenza, the so-called swine flu, had been described as being transferred from a donor.Dr Greg Calligaro, Pulmonologist - Respiratory Clinic at Groote Schuur Hospital
The test that was done to exclude Covid-19, in this case, was a nasopharyngeal swab and there is only one of them. It's not a test that has 100% sensitivity.Dr Greg Calligaro, Pulmonologist - Respiratory Clinic at Groote Schuur Hospital
But I think we have to consider it in the context of the thousands of transplants that have happened without any transmission of infection.Dr Greg Calligaro, Pulmonologist - Respiratory Clinic at Groote Schuur Hospital
Listen to the discussion on The Midday Report:
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