ECMO outcomes study at experienced centers suggests key role for treating worst-hit patients as pandemic continues — ScienceDaily

It saved lives in past epidemics of lung-damaging viruses. Now, the life-support option known as ECMO appears to be doing the same for many of the critically ill COVID-19 patients who receive it, according to a new international study.

The 1,035 patients in the study faced a staggeringly high risk of death, as ventilators and other care failed to support their lungs. But after they were placed on ECMO, their actual death rate was less than 40%. That’s similar to the rate for patients treated with ECMO in past outbreaks of lung-damaging viruses, and other severe forms of viral pneumonia.

The new study published in The Lancet provides strong support for the use of ECMO — short for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation — in appropriate patients as the pandemic rages on worldwide.

It may help more hospitals that have ECMO capability understand which of their COVID-19 patients might benefit from the

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