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.