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Vietnam's first lung transplant a success

Released at: 09:09, 19/03/2018

Vietnam's first lung transplant a success

A team of doctors perfomed the first lung transplant from a brain dead donor at the 108 Military Central Hospital. (Photo courtesy of 108 Military Central Hospital)

Patient in good health following February 26 transplant at Hanoi's 108 Military Central Hospital.

by Van Chi

Doctors at the 108 Military Central Hospital in Hanoi have successfully performed the first lung transplant in Vietnam, marking a huge step forward in the tissue and organ transplant field of military doctors and opening up the possibility of a better life for patients in Vietnam suffering from dangerous diseases, the Vietnam News Agency quoted the hospital as announcing on March 16.

A team of 60 medical experts and doctors, led by Professor Mai Hong Bang, Director of the military hospital, performed the transplant on February 26.

Mr. Tran Ngoc Hanh, 52, from northern Nam Dinh province, became the first Vietnamese to receive a double lung transplant.

Mr. Hanh was diagnosed with severe respiratory failure due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. His condition was serious, and a lung transplant was the only way to save his life.

The donor was a 45-year-old man who donated many organs, including his kidneys, heart and corneas, for transplants for up to six patients.

Nearly 20 days after the eight-hour transplant, Mr. Hanh’s is in a good condition. He can eat rice porridge and has good contact, hemodynamic stability and respiratory function. X-rays show that both lungs have integrated with his body, and he is able to walk and talk.

From the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit, Mr. Hanh said he has recovered 70-80 per cent of his health. “I can now breathe easily. I am much better than before, thanks to the doctors,” he said.

“Lung transplants remain a challenge for Vietnam’s medical sector,” Professor Bang said. They are considered the most difficult technique in the field of organ transplants, he added, even for countries with advanced medical facilities. “We are very happy to have performed the first lung transplant,” he said. “We can now handle difficult procedures involving tissue and organ transplants.”

Two lungs and a cornea from the donor were transplanted into two patients at the 108 Military Central Hospital. The hospital also cooperated with the National Organ and Tissue Transplantation Collaboration Centre, Viet Duc Hospital in Hanoi, and Cho Ray Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City to preserve and send the donor’s kidneys and heart to Ho Chi Minh City by air to be transplanted into two other patients at Cho Ray Hospital.

Professor Bang said the organs were successfully transplanted into six patients in three hospitals. This was possible due to the preparations of human resources and medical facilities, and logistics, good collaboration between relevant bodies, and support from leading foreign experts.

The hospital has successfully performed 18 kidney, one liver, 27 marrow, and 14 corneal transplants. Professor Bang said the success of the lung transplant was the result of the hospital’s National Scientific Research project. In the coming years it plans to focus on research and master transplants of the uterus, intestines and heart.

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