A Single-Center Experience with Lung Transplants During the COVID-19 Pandemic
BACKGROUND This single-center study analyzed distinctions between lung transplants performed in the Department of Cardiac and Vascular surgery of the University Clinical Center in Gdansk, Poland before and during the COVID-19 pandemic. MATERIAL AND METHODS There were 189 patients who underwent the qualification procedure to lung transplantation in the Department of Cardiac and Vascular Surgery of the University Clinical Center in Gdansk, Poland in the years 2019 and 2020. The control group consisted of 12 patients transplanted in 2019, and the study group consisted of 16 patients transplanted in 2020. RESULTS During 2019, the qualification process was performed in 102 patients with pulmonary end-stage diseases. In 2020, despite the 3-month lockdown related to organizational changes in the hospital, 87 qualification processes were performed. The mortality rate of patients on the waiting list in 2020 was 14.3% (6 patients died), and during 2019 the rate was also 14.3% (4 patients died). Donor qualifications were according to ISHLT criteria. The distribution of donors in both years was similar. There was no relationship between the geographic area of residence and source of donors. In 2019, all 12 patients had double-lung transplant. In 2020, 11 patients had double-lung transplant and 5 patients had single-lung transplant. There was no difference in ventilation time and PGD aside from a shorter ICU stay in 2020. CONCLUSIONS Lung transplants were relatively well-conducted despite the continued obstacles of the COVID-19 pandemic.