A new study suggests that using lungs of smokers for transplantation may not be detrimental and the transplant patients were as likely to live up to three years after the surgery as those who had been given lungs of non-smokers.
The study was conducted by researchers at Harefield Hospital in London who studied a total of 237 lung transplants that were carried out at the hospital over a six-year period from 2007.
Around half of the transplants involved lungs from non-smoker donors, 29 percent from donors who smoked for less than 20 years and 18 percent from those who smoked 20 or more a day for at least 20 years. On comparing the one-year and three-year survival figures, the researchers found that the figures were similar in all the three groups.
"Donor lungs from even heavy smokers may provide a valuable avenue for increasing donor organ availability. I believe that candidates significantly decrease their chances of survival if they choose to decline organs from smokers", André Simon, who is the director of heart and lung transplantation and consultant cardiac surgeon at Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust, said.