Covid patients’ lives being saved by ECMO

A surprising therapy that’s “hard to come to terms with” and includes an “unbelievable” machine is saving Covid sufferers’ lives.

A affected person and his physician have lifted the lid on a unprecedented methodology for treating severe circumstances of Covid that includes folks being put right into a coma for so long as 130 days.

Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is a life assist machine usually used for folks struggling extreme and life-threatening diseases.

ECMO replaces the perform of the guts and lungs to permit these organs to relaxation and heal.

Connected to a affected person by tubes, it acts as a man-made lung with blood being pumped out of the physique into the machine the place carbon dioxide is eliminated earlier than the blood is distributed again.

Patients utilizing ECMO for respiratory assist are sometimes in a coma for 10-20 days, however that every one modified when Victorian specialists used it as a solution to deal with extreme Covid circumstances.

Sixty-four sufferers with Covid have been on the machine throughout the virus’ two waves all through the state.

They spent a median of 41 days on assist, with about 83 per cent surviving.

The Alfred Hospital’s head of ECMO, Associate Professor Vincent Pellegrino, defined to 3AW on Friday that the rise within the time spent in a coma was as a result of “game-changing” and “onerous nature” of Covid.

“Their lungs were in such a state (that) in order to get enough gas exchange to keep them alive we were using completely unsafe pressures to do that in the lungs,” he stated.

Stiven Taleski, 33, was a type of sufferers. He spent 84 days in a coma earlier than waking up in January.

When he wakened, he was in a “daze” and didn’t know the place he was or what was occurring.

“I thought it was probably about five days, but I was three or four months off and I was in a different year,” he stated.

“It was very hard to come to terms with at the start.”

Since waking up Mr Taleski is feeling higher and extra energetic day by day.

He hopes to return to work in some unspecified time in the future, although his lung capability is “still quite low”.

“I’m kind of glad I was pretty much asleep through the entire thing, it sounds quite scary,” Mr Taleski stated.

“It’s saved my life – unbelievable piece of machinery.”

Originally revealed as ‘Scary’ method of treating Covid sufferers with ‘unbelievable’ machine

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