Back to top
Live:
Coronavirus Updates

ECMO at work in an ICU

A device called ECMO can't treat COVID-19, but it could help patients with the virus by doing the work of the lungs and, in some cases, the heart for when a ventilator isn't enough.

ECMO: Technology That Might Help COVID Patients When Ventilators Can't

FRIDAY, May 1, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Many people who are seriously ill with COVID-19 end up on ventilators to help them breathe, but sometimes, even ventilators aren't enough. That's when a device called ECMO may help.

ECMO can do the work of the lungs and in some cases, the heart. ECMO stands for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. It's a machine that oxygenates blood using a complex circuit of pumps, tubes, filters and monitors. Someone on ECMO has to be monitored by a team of experts, and it's not available in all hospitals.

"ECMO doesn't do anything to treat COVID-19, but it buys you time by replacing the function of the lungs to allow recovery of the lungs," explained Dr. Jonathan Haft, director of the ECMO program at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Dr. John Puskas, chair of cardiovascular surgery at Mount Sinai Morningside in New York City, said ECMO is typically used when "patients get to a point where the ventilator is not enough."

He said that ECMO has a "fancy membrane that can exchange gases. It gets rid of carbon dioxide and adds oxygen to the blood, basically replacing the lungs. ECMO is remarkably effective at adding oxygen to the blood." And oxygen is just what many COVID-19 patients desperately need.

Read the full HealthDay story.

Watch our latest HD Live! as we take a look at Philly Fighting Covid, a nonprofit organization run by graduate students from Drexel University that aims to help with mass COVID-19 vaccination in Philadelphia.

Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with Andrei Doroshin, founder of Philly Fighting Covid.

Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HD Lives and other videos on our YouTube channel.

HD Live! Videos

Watch our latest HD Live! as we take a deep dive into the vaccine rollout across the country.

Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota and a member of the Biden COVID-19 Advisory Board.

Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HD Lives and other videos on our YouTube channel.

Our latest HD Live! is a conference wrap-up of the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2020.

Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with Dr. Donald Lloyd-Jones, American Heart Association President-Elect, for a summary of the highlights of the AHA Scientific Sessions 2020.

Watch the in-depth discussion above, and see our past HD Lives and other videos on our YouTube channel.

Our latest HD Live! discussion is on how healthcare in America could be impacted by a Trump or Biden victory.

Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with Marianne Udow-Phillips, director of the Center for Health and Research Transformation at the University of Michigan, and Brian Blase, who served as a healthcare adviser to President Trump from 2017-2019 and is now president and CEO of Blase Policy Strategies.

Watch our in-depth discussion above, and see our past HD Lives and other videos on our YouTube channel.

Our latest HD Live! discussion is an overview of IDWeek, the annual meeting of leading infectious disease experts worldwide.

Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with Dr. Inger Damon and Dr. Tom Talbot, IDWeek Chairs, for a summary of the latest data on a range of infectious diseases, including COVID-19.

Watch our in-depth discussion above, and see our past HD Lives and other videos on our YouTube channel.

Our latest HD Live! discussion is an overview of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) national conference and exhibition.

Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with AAP's Dr. Elizabeth Murray on the key takeaways of the event.

Watch our in-depth discussion above, and see our past HD Lives and other videos on our YouTube channel.

Our latest HD Live! discussion is on what could happen this flu season as COVID-19 still rages on across the country. How can we protect ourselves, and what can we and the health care system do to prepare for and potentially prevent a twindemic?

Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with Dr. Nadia Eltaki, director of clinical operations at Sibley Memorial Hospital, on guidance on how to protect yourself and how a twindemic could impact the health care system.

Watch our in-depth discussion above, and see our past HD Lives and other videos on our YouTube channel.

Our latest HD Live! discussion is on loneliness and social isolation and how they can affect mental health. Plus, learn more about the survey we conducted with The Harris Poll on Americans and their use and knowledge of face masks and COVID-19.

Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with Dr. Carla Perissinotto, a geriatrician and the associate chief for geriatrics clinical programs at UCSF, on advice on how to better care for seniors who might be more vulnerable to social isolation, and Kathy Steinberg, vice president of public release research at The Harris Poll, on the results of the HealthDay/The Harris Poll survey.

Watch our in-depth discussion above, and see our past HD Lives and other videos on our YouTube channel.

Our latest HD Live! discussion is on the upcoming COVID-19 vaccine and how the United States would need to prepare for a mass vaccination program.

Mabel Jong from our liveblog team speaks with Dr. Amesh Adalja from the Center for Health Security at Johns Hopkins University and Dr. Kelly Moore from Vanderbilt School of Medicine and associate director for immunization education with the Immunization Action Coalition.

Watch our in-depth discussion above, and see our past HD Lives and other videos on our YouTube channel.