ECMO therapy boon to lung-infected patients
Apollo Hospitals, Chennai is the pioneer (since 2010) in utilising extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)
Chennai: Apollo Hospitals, Chennai is the pioneer (since 2010) in utilising extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). During the second wave of Covid-19, the team broke records by successfully helping lung function to recover in the largest number of patients in India.
The hospital has most advanced ECMO unit and treated over 270 ECMO patients since 2010. ECMO is employed in a variety of situations, including poisoning, trauma, and infections such as H1N1, pre and post-transplant patients and most recently Covid -19.
Speaking to media, Dr Paul Ramesh, Senior Consultant Cardiothoracic and Heart and Lung Transplant Surgeon, Apollo Hospitals, said "The average period on ECMO prior to discharge is 60 days. The current survival rate (at 6 months) for ECMO patients is 73.9 percent, which is higher than the global average of 40-50 percent. One of the most effective outcomes of Apollo Hospitals' ECMO programme is a patient, who was on ECMO for 116 days, the longest bridge to recovery in India. By using ECMO we have seen that many patients with significant lung injury recover fully, eliminating the need for a lung transplant."
He also added, "Of the 23 persons infected during the second wave of Covid-19 with the delta variant placed on ECMO, 10 patients have been discharged, one patient had a successful transplant, two patients are off ECMO and undergoing rehabilitation, and we lost six patients due to severe illness."
Dr K Madhankumar, Senior Consultant Cardiothoracic and Heart and Lung Transplant Surgeon, Apollo Hospitals, said, "The reasons for our team's success include awake ECMO, which allows patients to remain awake and engage with their families, which boosts their morale and enhances the likelihood of a faster recovery and better treatment outcomes. Patients on ECMO are urged to exercise on a regular basis, and physiotherapy is provided to fully mobilise them quickly after they have been removed from the machine." Suneeta Reddy, Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals Group also spoke.