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Ten Vietnamese offer to donate lungs for British pilot

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HCMC – As of this morning, May 14, as many as 10 Vietnamese people have contacted the Vietnam National Coordinating Center for Human Organ Transplantation offering to donate lungs to the critically ill 91st coronavirus case, a 43-year-old British pilot.

The pilot was hospitalized on March 18 and remains the most critical Covid-19 case in Vietnam. Experts said a lung transplant is the last chance to save him.

Lung ultrasound scans on May 13 showed that both his lungs have suffered extensive damage and only 10% of his lungs can function.

Luong Ngoc Khue, director of the Department of Medical Examination and Treatment, noted that the man is 1.83 meters tall and weighs 100 kilograms, so it is hard to find suitable organs for a lung transplant. “The difference in size between the donated organ and the patient’s organ should not exceed 20%, not to mention immunity and other biochemical factors,” he explained.

Doctors plan to transfer him from the HCMC Hospital for Tropical Diseases to Cho Ray Hospital. Once an organ that meets size, immunity and biochemical requirements is found, doctors from Vietnam-Germany Hospital and other hospitals that have successfully performed lung transplants will perform the operation.

A representative of the Vietnam National Coordinating Center for Human Organ Transplantation noted that the donated organs, including whole lungs or parts of lungs, must come from a brain-dead person. For a living donor, the person must be the pilot’s relative.

According to the Ministry of Health, British authorities recently contacted the patient’s aunt. The pilot is single and it is unknown whether his parents are alive.

Meanwhile, national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines told the ministry that the man was not its official pilot but worked for the airline through an aviation human resource company.

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