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WTF Wednesday: Defective Lung Transplant Causes Womans Death

You’ve heard the old saying; “just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse” right?

A lady in England was born with cystic fibrosis; a lung disease.  She was diagnosed at the age of 2 and told she might live into her late teenage years.  She actually made it to her late 20’s when a lung was found for her and a transplant arranged.  The lung however wasn’t exactly “gently used“.

It had belonged to a heavy smoker.  A large mass was found after (After??  Don’t they check these things out before they proceed??) the transplant and the lady died.

According to Dr. G. Alexander Patterson, surgical director of lung transplants at the Washington University and Barnes-Jewish transplant center in St. Louis, 

accepting the lungs of smokers is an accepted practice but drug use and unprotected sex can disqualify a person. 

Soooooo, what he’s saying is … Smoke your lungs out and they’re ok but, forget the rubber and you’re off limits??  WTF??

Click here for the full article.  To learn more about cystic fibrosis treatment in El Paso, click here.

Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images

Patterson added;

most transplant surgeons don’t share details about the smoking history of the donor with their patients unless they are asked directly.

Great … more “don’t ask, don’t tell”.  There’s a lesson here folks, no matter how stupid you think a question may be; if it involves your life … ASK!!

(Sidenote:  I doubt the smoking lung donor just wandered in and said “here; have a lung”.  If he didn’t flat out die of lung cancer in the first place; I wonder why he wanted to get rid of it? Think he and/or his doctors knew something??)

Why wouldn’t they tell you something like this?  Arthur Caplan, director of the division of medical ethics at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York City said he thinks that surgeons might not review such risks in order to

avoid having a difficult conversation — and that they may sometimes also feel they are the experts who know what is best for the patient.

Experts?  Really?!?!  I’ve never set foot in a medical school and I could freakin’ tell you lungs damaged by smoking probably aren’t good aftermarket equipment.



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