Oct 13, 2021

ECMO Support May Save Lives in COVID-19

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

In patients with severe lung disease caused by viral infections, physicians sometimes turn to ECMO—a life support machine that takes over the functions of the lungs, heart, or both when other support options appear to be failing. But initial reports of ECMO use in patients with COVID-19 described very high mortality, and some physicians recommended against its use.

New data from Columbia University and other ECMO centers throughout the world now show that more than 60% of severe COVID-19 patients who received ECMO have survived.

“The results of this large-scale international registry study, while hardly definitive evidence, provide a real-world understanding of the potential for ECMO to save lives in a highly select population of COVID-19 patients,” says senior author Daniel Brodie, MD, professor of medicine at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons and director of the Adult ECMO Program at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center.

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