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Once rare, lung transplants for COVID-19 patients are rising quickly
Nov 28, 2021 | NPR
Picture - Once rare, lung transplants for COVID-19 patients are rising quickly

About one in 10 lung transplants in the United States now go to COVID-19 patients, according to data from the United Network for Organ Sharing, or UNOS.

The trend is raising questions about the ethics of allocating a scarce resource to people who have chosen not to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

"They are accumulating on a steady basis. So it's very much a real thing," says David Klassen, chief medical officer for UNOS.

"If there were more lungs available for transplants, I believe the numbers would be greater than they are," he says.

In all, 238 people across the country have received lung transplants due to COVID-19 since the first such operations were tracked in August of 2020, according to the latest UNOS figures from October of this year.

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