By Robert Preidt
THURSDAY, Oct. 1, 2020 (HealthDay Information) — A life support method referred to as ECMO has saved the lives of many critically sick COVID-19 sufferers, a brand new examine reveals.
The ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) machine takes over the perform of the lungs and coronary heart. Blood is pumped from the physique into tools that provides oxygen to the blood earlier than it is returned to the physique.
This system has saved lives in earlier epidemics of lung-damaging viruses, however small research revealed early within the coronavirus pandemic questioned its effectiveness.
This worldwide examine included 1,035 COVID-19 sufferers at excessive danger of dying as a result of ventilators and different forms of care could not assist their lungs.
After being positioned on ECMO, the dying charge amongst these sufferers was lower than 40%, in response to the examine authors.
“These outcomes from hospitals skilled in offering ECMO are just like previous stories of ECMO-supported sufferers, with different types of acute respiratory distress syndrome or viral pneumonia,” stated co-author Dr. Ryan Barbaro, of the College of Michigan.
“The outcomes assist suggestions to think about ECMO in COVID-19 if the ventilator is failing. We hope these findings assist hospitals make selections about this resource-intensive choice,” Barbaro stated in a college information launch.
Most facilities on this examine didn’t want to make use of ECMO for COVID-19 fairly often, stated examine co-author Graeme MacLaren, of the Nationwide College Well being System in Singapore.
“By bringing information from over 200 worldwide facilities collectively into the identical examine, [it] has deepened our data about using ECMO for COVID-19 in a approach that might be unimaginable for particular person facilities to be taught on their very own,” MacLaren stated within the launch.
Whereas the examine reveals that ECMO can save the lives of COVID-19 sufferers who present indicators of requiring superior life assist, it must be supplied at hospitals with skilled ECMO groups, the researchers stated. Hospitals should not attempt to add ECMO functionality within the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, they added.
The outcomes had been revealed Sept. 25 in The Lancet medical journal.