A team of doctors perfomed the first lung transplant from a brain dead donor
in Việt Nam at the 108 Military Central Hospital. (Photo courtesy of 108Military Central Hospital)
A team of 60 medical experts and doctors, led by Prof. Mai Hong Bang, director
of 108 Military Central Hospital took part in performing the transplant on
February 26, 2018.
Tran Ngoc Hanh, 52, from Nam Định province became the first Vietnamese to receive two lung transplants from a brain dead donor.
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. But it was a challenge to the doctors.
The donor is a brain dead 45-year-old man, who has donated many organs, including kidneys, heart and corneas, for transplant for up to six patients.
Nearly 20 days after the eight-hour transplant, Hanh’s health is in good condition. He can eat porridge and has good contact, hemodynamic stability and good respiratory function. An X-ray result shows that both the lungs have integrated with the recipient’s body, and Hanh is able to walk and talk.
From the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit, Hanh said his health had recovered 70-80 per cent. “I can now breathe easily. I am much better than before, thanks to the doctors who helped me live,” he said.
“Lung transplant still has been a challenge for Vietnam’s medical sector,” said Prof. Bang.
He said lung transplant is considered the most difficult technique in the field of organ transplantation, even for countries with advanced medical facilities in the world.
“On behalf of the doctor’s team, I would like to say that we are very happy to have performed the first lung transplant from a brain dead donor. From now on, we can handle difficult procedures involving tissue and organ transplant,” said Prof. Bang.
He further said this was not just a normal case of lung transplant from a brain dead donor but a special case of multi-organ transplant where many organs, such as lungs, kidneys and cornea, from a donor were transplanted to six patients in different cities at the same time. Of this, two lungs and a cornea were transplanted in two patients at the 108 Military Central Hospital.
The hospital collaborated with the National Organ and Tissue Transplantation Collaboration Centre, Viet Duc hospital in Hanoi and Cho Ray hospital in HCM City to preserve and send the kidneys and heart to HCM City by air to be transplanted in two other patients at Cho Ray Hospital.
Bang said that the organs were successfully transplanted in six patients in three hospitals. This was possible due to the preparation of human resource and medical facilities, logistics, good collaboration between relevant bodies and support of leading foreign experts.
To date, the hospital has successfully performed 18 kidney, one liver, 27 marrow and 14 corneal transplants. Bang said the success of the lung transplant was a result of the hospital’s National Scientific Research project. In coming years, the hospital plans to focus on research and master the transplants of the uterus, intestines and heart.