In early March, China’s state-run media reported a series of “world’s first” lung transplants.
On Feb. 29, the world’s first lung transplant on a patient previously diagnosed with COVID-19 was performed by Dr. Chen Jingyu in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province. Then on March 1, March 8 and March 10, three similar lung transplants were done on elderly patients.
The Epoch Times refers to the novel coronavirus, which causes the disease COVID-19, as the CCP virus because the Chinese Communist Party’s coverup and mismanagement allowed the virus to spread throughout China and create a global pandemic.
All recipients had been infected with the CCP virus, but tested negative at the time of the transplants, according to the Chinese reports. Their lungs had suffered irreversible damage. They were intubated and put on ECMO (Extra-Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation) prior to the transplant.
All the Chinese reports provided very little, yet identical, information on the sources of the lungs: brain-dead donation from another province.
In addition, the wait times to find these matching lungs varied from hours to days.
Feb. 29: Double Lung Transplant, Wait Time Less Than a Day
Take the transplant by Dr. Chen Jingyu at Wuxi People’s Hospital for example. The wait time for a pair of lungs was less than a day.
A 59-year-old patient tested positive for CCP virus on Jan. 26. On Feb. 7, he was intubated and was put on ECMO on Feb. 22. Two days later, he was transferred to Wuxi Infectious Disease Hospital, apparently still infected.
It was unclear how this patient came under the care of Dr. Chen at the Wuxi People’s Hospital.
In an interview with Southern Metropolis Daily, Chen described how the decision to conduct the transplant was made. Chen stated, “The patient lung started to bleed profusely on Feb. 28. The entire lung was filled with blood and was stretched tight. He almost died. Under such condition, after discussing it with the provincial level experts, we decided to perform an emergency lung transplant. Coincidentally, there was a donor.”
A day later on Feb. 29, the lungs from a brain-dead donor travelled 500 miles from Henan Province to Wuxi via the so called “green gateway (for organs),” i.e. the high speed rail.
Even under normal circumstances, it has to be a miracle to find a pair of matching lungs within a day, not to mention amidst the chaos of the CCP virus. Who was the donor? How did the donor become brain-dead? Who handled the organ donation procedures? How did the family members cope with it? There are too many questions unanswered.
Donors Seeking Recipients
Yet there seem to be an abundance of “brain dead donors” with perfect lungs. After that transplant, Chen told www.thepaper.cn what can be done to help the CCP virus infected patients. He said, “We can select some severely infected patients in Wuhan who are suitable for lung transplant, those with high (transplant) success rate, those in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s. We want to save them via lung transplants.” Was Chen implying that reversed matching (donors seeking recipients) is still going on?
In most countries, it is common practice to have a pool of recipients waiting for an unpredictable event of an eligible donor dying, making the wait time for an organ to be months if not years. Especially because of the complexity of lung transplant, the wait time is generally years.
However, in China, according to evidence gathered by independent investigators, reversed matching had become a common practice since 2000. There is a pool of living people waiting for a recipient to check in to the hospital. Whoever matches the blood type and tissue type of this recipient becomes a “brain-dead donor.”
More Lung Transplants, Wait Time in Days
In the week following the Feb. 29 transplant, there were more reports on three subsequent transplants done on even older patients.
On March 10, Chen performed a lung transplant on a 73-year-old CCP virus infected patient with diabetes and kidney function issues. The lungs of a brain-dead donor flew from Guangzhou to Wuxi. Again, no information about the donor.
Meanwhile, in another hospital 100 miles from Wuxi, 2 lung transplants were performed.
On March 1, a 66-year-old female (who had tested positive for CCP virus on Jan. 31) went through a double lung transplant at Zhejiang University First Affiliated Hospital. The donor was from Hunan Province. The director of the lung transplant department, Dr. Han Weili preformed the transplant.
On March 8 in the same hospital, a 70-year-old patient who had been on ECMO since Feb. 26 received a pair of lungs from a brain-dead person in Jiangxi Province.
Donation Numbers Much Lower Than Transplant Numbers
For those who are familiar with China’s illicit transplant practice since 2000, this reminds them of those years prior to 2015 when healthy prisoners were killed on demand. Under international pressure, China started a show “organ donation program” and announced that no prisoners organs would be used after Jan. 1, 2015.
Armed with a brand new “organ donation program,” China’s transplant industry kept producing world record holding transplant operations such as the few mentioned here. In 2017, the official transplant numbers are 10,793 kidney transplants, 5,149 liver transplants, 299 lung transplants, and 446 heart transplants. Can a few-years-old organ donation program supply organs for 16,687 transplant operations?
An article by Xiaoxiang Morning Post based in Hunan Province published a nine-year accumulative total number of organs donated in Hunan province. Up until August 2019, 2,233 donors donated 4,291 kidneys, 1,623 livers, 35 hearts and 11 lungs.
Let’s look at the numbers again. Hunan Province has a population of almost 70 million. In 9 years, the donation program produced on average 1.2 lungs per year. China has a population of 1.4 billion. Roughly speaking, there would be 24 lungs donated in a year.
Yet, the lung transplant numbers tell a different story.
China’s Lung Transplant Registry, Secretive and Managed by One Hospital
Wuxi People’s Hospital, where Dr. Chen Jingyu serves as the deputy director, manages China’s lung transplant registry. The registry is closed to the public.
We can get a glimpse of the number from Chinese media reports. In an article published in 2017, Dr. Chen talked about the lung transplant development in China and provided this chart that shows the total lung transplant numbers up to 2016.
Chen said, “Wuxi People’s Hospital’s number is 70 percent of the national total. There were two months in 2016, when we did 20 (lung transplants) in one month. We also have done 6 lung transplants in 24 hours. We have three lung extraction teams. At least for our hospital, lung transplant is very mature. It is an ordinary chest operation.”
China’s total number of lung transplants in 2017 and 2018 are 299 and 403.
As many independent investigative reports have previously stated, the donation numbers and the transplant numbers in China still don’t add up.
ISHLT Statistics: Average 28 Lung Transplants per Center per Year
The International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT) manages the International Thoracic Organ Transplant (TTX) Registry, which records the heart and lung transplant details from about 300 qualifying transplant centers from countries with mature organ donation systems. No Chinese lung transplant center is reporting data to this registry.
While the Chinese registry is considered a state secret and closed to the public, the TTX data is readily available for the public to examine. The data published on the ISHLT website shows the total number of lung transplants by 139 centers is 3,936 during the time period from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018. That is an average of 28 lung transplants per center per year.
Lung Transplant Center in Beijing, 154 Lung Transplants done in first 18 months
China-Japan Friendship Hospital lung transplant center was established in March 2017 in Beijing. Chen is the deputy director of the center. By Nov. 2018, the center had conducted 154 lung transplants. The hospital was very proud to show a comparison chart of its growth against the world’s top ten lung transplant centers—it is the fastest growing center in the world.
The red line in the chart is China-Japan Friendship Hospital. Just what is behind its unusual growth curve?
Tribunal Judgement: Forced Organ Harvesting is Continuing in China
On March 1, 2020, the Independent Tribunal into Forced Organ Harvesting from Prisoners of Conscience in China issued its Final Judgement after two years of reviewing evidence and multiple hearings. “Hospitals in the PRC have had access to a population of donors whose organs could be extracted according to demand for them… In the long-term practice in the PRC of forced organ harvesting it was indeed Falun Gong practitioners who were used as a source – probably the principal source – of organs for forced organ harvesting.”
Has forced organ harvesting ended with the new donation system?
The Tribunal considers “There is no evidence of the practice (of forced organ harvesting) having been stopped and the Tribunal is satisfied that it is continuing.”
Indeed, the data presented through the several lung transplants happened in China during the CCP virus pandemic, with pairs of matching lungs provided in a matter of days, strongly suggests that China’s so-called organ donation program is helping to cover up the practice of forced organ harvesting.
China’s Top Lung Transplant Surgeon
Dr. Chen Jingyu, China’s top lung transplant surgeon, is also an active user on WeChat. He has 985k followers. He frequently posts pictures of lung transplants and even did live broadcasts of the transplants.
As the world is grappling with the spread of the CCP virus, China’s top lung transplant surgeon is busy traveling the country to conduct lung transplants. On March 12, Chen traveled to Sichuan Province and did two lung transplants in one day. The two recipients were both 66 years old. Miraculously, two “brain-dead donors” were found in the same hospital in Chongqing on March 11.
Dr. Jacob Lavee, Director of the Heart Transplant Unit at Sheba Medical Center in Israel and founding member of Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting, commented on the recent transplants. He told The Epoch Times via email, “In addition to highlighting the unusual short waiting time for suitable donors, allocating donor lungs to such patients at this time seems an unusual decision which might be medically challenged. However, it certainly hints towards an ample supply of such lungs, or else an irresistible urge to become scientifically world famous.”