Baptist Health Louisville: Using ECMO Therapy to Treat COVID-19
Using ECMO Therapy to Treat COVID-19 in Louisville, KY
Tina Allen, patient’s wife:
When they called me and told me he wasn’t going to make it, they said his kidneys were shutting down and that there was maybe one last thing that we could do, something called ECMO.
ECMO stands for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, which is a long medical term meaning we take the blood out of the body; put oxygen in the blood; remove the carbon dioxide from the blood; and then put that blood back into the body. It’s a way of delivering oxygen to the body and to the tissues when either the lungs or the heart are not able to do it. We use it only after all the traditional therapies have been exhausted. ECMO by itself is not a treatment necessarily for COVID-19, but it allows the lungs to rest and recover on their own while we’re giving the other traditional therapies that we use for COVID-19.
We’re so thankful. Just overwhelming love, I felt. This whole team here at Baptist kept telling me it’s going to be okay. I can’t say enough what they’ve done for us, I mean, they’ve given him a second chance at life.
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