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November 19, 1982

Paraquat-poisoned victims in guarded condition

JAMA. 1982;248(19):2426-2427. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330190012004

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A Georgia plant nurseryman and a Florida landscaper, both of whom accidentally inhaled large amounts of paraquat (1, 1′-dimethyl-4,4′-bipyridylium) herbicide, continue to survive after becoming the first humans since 1977 to undergo single-lung transplants. The former patient has also undergone a second lung transplant.

Until this recent resumption, only 38 human single-lung transplant attempts had been reported. These were attempted between 1963 and 1977, and patient survival ranged from about an hour to ten months. However, all were undertaken before the availability of cyclosporin A, which is credited with reducing rejection episodes and perhaps with enhancing healing of tracheal anastomoses and limiting postoperative infections.

The first single-lung transplant to be performed since 1977, on Aug 28 of this year, was at Toronto General Hospital. On Sept 20, a second lung transplantation was done there to replace the patient's other damaged lung.

Then, on Sept 24, another single-lung transplant was performed—this