Covid, in Italy the first 2 transplants in the world from positive to negative donors

The first two transplants in the world from deceased donors positive to the Sars-CoV-2 coronavirus on negative recipients and free of anti-Covid antibodies were performed in Italy. In both cases, the patients received a new heart and neither contracted Covid-19 after the transplant. This was announced by the National Transplant Center (Cnt), reporting that the first operation was carried out at the end of last April at the Sant’Orsola Polyclinic in Bologna on a 64-year-old man, while the second in mid-May at the Bambino Gesù pediatric hospital in Rome on a 15-year-old boy. The two recipients, suffering from severe heart disease, were on the national urgent waiting list and obtained the organ thanks to an exemption granted by the National Transplant Center to the two hospitals with respect to the experimental program of the NTC: the protocol currently in force, in fact, allows you to carry out life-saving organ transplants from donors who tested positive for coronavirus and died from other causes, but only on recipients that were positive at the time of transplantation or already immunized for previous illness or vaccination. “In the cases treated at Sant’Orsola and the Bambino Jesus, the severity of the patients’ clinical conditions prompted the medical teams of the two centers to ask us for authorization to transplant even if the recipients were free of antibodies “, explains the director of the NTC, Massimo Cardillo. “We immediately activated the infectious disease surveillance procedures and we assessed for both patients that the risk of death or evolution of serious diseases related to the waiting list was higher than the eventual transmission of the disease from the donor. The post-transplant course he proved us right and the recipients are now well and have returned home “. Since the activation, last December, of the experimental protocol, the first internationally of this type, 19 transplants have been carried out from donors with Sars-CoV-2 . Apart from the two heart transplants of St. Ursula and the Child Jesus – reports the Cnt in a note – the other 17 interventions concerned the liver and were carried out exclusively on patients who had already had Covid-19, none of which has underwent reinfection after receiving the new organ. 8 hospitals have participated in the experimental program so far: most of the interventions (8) were carried out by the liver transplant center of the Molinette hospital in Turin, while the others were performed at the Ismett in Palermo, at the Sant’Orsola in Bologna, at the Niguarda hospital in Milan, at the Policlinico di Bari and in Rome at the San Camillo, the Tor Vergata polyclinic and the Bambino Gesù. Organ donations were made, with the support of 8 regional coordinations of the national transplant network: 5 in Piedmont (Alessandria, Cuneo, Domodossola, Turin, Novara), 3 in Tuscany (Empoli, Massa and Pistoia), 2 in Lombardy (Brescia and Lecco), 2 in Puglia (Bari and Lecce) and one per region in Abruzzo (Teramo), Lazio (Rome Child Jesus), Liguria (Genoa) and Sicily (Catania).

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