The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for a device that works to purify the blood by filtration.
According to the press release, the device reduces the amount of cytokines and other inflammatory proteins in the blood by a process of filtration. The filtered blood is then returned to the patient.
It can be used to treat COVID-19-confirmed patients who are 18 years old and older and who are in the ICU with either confirmed or imminent respiratory failure.
The idea behind this treatment is that filtering the blood removes the proteins that tend to increase during infections and are thought to cause something called a "cytokine storm" in people with more severe COVID-19 cases. This can cause complications such as severe inflammation, respiratory failure and death.