Pune's first mobile ECMO saves man with lung damage

  • Home
  • Pune's first mobile ECMO saves man with lung damage

Dr.Madhan's ECMO Health Care

15th June

Does Early Intervention for Breast Cancer Save Lives

PUNE: "When ventilators fail, the ECMO saves. And I'm living proof of that," said 50-year-old Hadapsar resident Ashok Mane.
Last year, Ashok fell critically ill after swine flu-induced pneumonia led to a condition called acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) He was put on a ventilator, but his doctors, desperate to save him, knew he needed a device a step above the ventilator, called the ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation), which oxygenates blood outside the body. Unfortunately, there was no machine on site.
It was at this juncture Ashok's doctors called Pune's first mobile ‘ECMO Retrieval Team’ - a specialised inter-hospital transport service for patients on the brink.
A team of experts then turned up in an ambulance equipped with the ECMO machine and moved Ashok from Noble hospital to Deenanath Mangeshkar (DMH) on August 15 last year. After 25 days on the ECMO and a long rehab, he was discharged on October 11
“It has been just a month now. I'm back at work. ECMO retrieval gave me a new lease of life," Ashok said on Sunday.
ECMO is the last resort for patients who have failed other, more conventional forms of therapy such as mechanical ventilation. Some private hospitals in India have on-site ECMO treatment, but only five centres provide these highly delicate ECMO-equipped patient transfer services, also called ‘mobile ECMO retrieval’
"We transferred five patients using our mobile ECMO service within a year of its launch. These were patients who were not improving despite mechanical ventilation. Two of the five patients survived, when their chances of survival were extremely bleak," said Dr Nilesh Mahale, the DMH's critical care expert.
Essentially, the service provides support to patients with severe respiratory and cardiovascular issues, who may be too unstable for regular inter-hospital transfers. "Globally, outcomes for such patients who need ECMO are better at designated high-end centres. In India, there are limited centres that can manage a patient on ECMO because it requires a well-trained team. So it's important that such patients are taken only to specialised centres," Dr Mahale said,
The DMH's chief intensivist Dr Prasad Rajhans said over the last one year, the hospital has been regularly retrieving patients from hospitals in western India. "The team is available to go and rapidly stabilise and retrieve patients referred to the service," he said