3 Nov 2014

Lung transplantation as rescue therapy in patients too sick to be discharged from acute care

A recent CCS study has looked at an increasing demand for lung transplantation in patients in advanced respiratory failure. Although many of these patients do not require mechanical ventilation or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, an increasing number are critically ill.

The study analyses lung transplantation in subjects who were inpatients at the time of their transplant and not expected to survive to discharge.


According to the study, lung transplantation is an effective treatment option for patients with end-stage respiratory disease. Recently, there has been an increase in demand for lung transplantation in patients in more advanced stages of respiratory failure, who may not have been candidates for transplant in the past. Simultaneously, the shortage of donor lungs remains an issue.

It found that lung transplantation in critically ill inpatients, although associated with a survival advantage compared to not transplanting them, does give poorer survival results compared to postoperative survival in outpatient patients.

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