If you’ve ever picked up a cigarette, or thought about smoking, maybe watch this first.
The footage shows Dr. Chen Jingyu and his transplant team inspecting the tar-blackened lungs at Wuxi People’s Hospital in China’s eastern Jiangsu Province.
Following decades of tobacco use, Instead of being a healthy pink color, they had turned charcoal and were extremely inflamed.
Doctor Chen, a leading lung transplant surgeon, said the donor – believed to be male – was just 52 years of age when he was declared brain dead and his organs were donated.
However, it became quickly apparent after harvesting that the lungs would not be of any use to a patient in need on the waiting list. Medics cited issues such as lung calcification, bullous lung disease and pulmonary emphysema; all tied to three decades of smoking.
Using the hashtag ‘jieyan’ – Mandarin for ‘quit smoking’ – Dr. Chen wrote:
Many smokers in this country have lungs which look like this. 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?
Dr. Chen added that the patient didn’t undergo a CT scan before his death, he was declared brain dead, and his lungs were swiftly harvested.
Initial oxygenation index tests were OK, but when we harvested the organs, we realised we wouldn’t be able to use them. We Chinese love smoking. 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.
Smokers Lung vs Normal Lung: