A Chinese doctor had to reject a pair of lungs that were donated from a 52-year-old man who was a chain smoker for 30 years.
Dr. Chen Jingyu from Wuxi People’s Hospital said he could not give the donated lungs to a patient awaiting a transplant after seeing the damage done to the organs after so many years of using tobacco, according to AsiaWire via Fox News.
“Many smokers in this country have lungs which look like this,” Jingyu said. “Our team decided to reject these lungs for transplant.”
“If you’re a heavy smoker, your lungs may not be accepted even if you choose to donate them after death. Look at these lungs — do you still have the courage to smoke?”
Chinese social media users have been calling the images and videos of the lungs “the best anti-smoking ad.”
According to WLS-TV, a video of the lungs has been watched more than 25 million times.
WARNING: The following video contains graphic images that some viewers may find disturbing.
Jingyu said the donor’s lungs were donated promptly after he was declared brain dead, according to the report. The patient did not have a CT scan at any point before he died.
“Initial oxygenation index tests were OK, but when we harvested the organs, we realized we wouldn’t be able to use them,” Jingyu said.
According to the World Health Organization, more than 300 million people in China smoke, which makes up about a third of the world’s total.
In 2009, almost 2.3 trillion cigarettes were consumed in China, which is more than the other top-four tobacco-consuming counties put together.
About 1 million deaths caused by tobacco occur every year in China, according to the WHO. Someone in that country dies because of tobacco use every 30 seconds.
“We Chinese love smoking,” Jingyu said. “It would be impractical to say that we wouldn’t accept the lungs of all smokers, but there are strict standards.
“These include lungs under 60 years of age in a patient who has only recently been declared medically dead; minor infections in the lungs and relatively clean chest X-rays are also acceptable. If the above conditions are met, we would consider transplanting the lungs.”
According to the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, lungs from donors who smoked less than a pack a day for 20 years are still eligible for transplant.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has funded research to develop techniques to repair damaged lungs.
According to Dr. James Kiley of NHLBI, around 80 percent of potential donor lungs are not accepted because of damage.
About 80% of potential donor lungs are rejected because they are too damaged for transplantation. NHLBI funded researchers developed a technique that can repair them. #Lung50 https://t.co/2nYrctDWqt pic.twitter.com/QsPmP8XKhd
— James Kiley, PhD (@NHLBI_LUNGDir) November 7, 2019
More than 8 million people worldwide die each year because of tobacco consumption, according to the WHO.
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