Author: Gao Xiang, Zhu Fangfang
Translated by: Zhu Tong, Wu Xia
Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University has confirmed that ECMO is an effective treatment for COVID-19 patients with severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) by researching 21 coronavirus patients with ARDS who have received ECMO. This finding was published in the latest issue of Critical Care Medicine, the world’s top magazine in the field of critical care medicine.
Before taking ECMO treatment, most COVID-19 patients with severe ARDS have developed heavy accumulation of CO2 and acidosis, which shows the poor prognosis and rapid deterioration. To solve this problem, the research team of Prof. Peng Zhiyong, who is a director of the Department of Critical Care Medicine of Zhongnan Hospital, has studied the clinical characteristics, ECMO characteristics and clinical results of coronavirus patients with ARDS who have received ECMO treatment. They finally confirmed that ECMO is an effective treatment for patients with COVID-19 together with severe ARDS.
The history of ECMO can be traced back to half a century ago. Although China has began to apply ECMO treatment in the 1990s, its clinical guidelines and scientific researches are basically dominated by foreign experts. Therefore, the finding of Peng’s team is a great leap-forward progress of China in the field of ECMO research. In addition, it also provides some directions for the treatment of widespread COVID-19, especially for treating patients severely infected with coronavirus.
On January 7, the ECMO research team of the Zhongnan Hospital of WHU adopted ECMO therapy for a coronavirus patient in critical condition who was also caught severe respiratory failure. The therapy was so successful that the patient got recovered and left the hospital on January 28, as the first one cured by ECMO in Hubei Province. During the coronavirus outbreak, Zhongnan Hospital has adopted ECMO therapy to successfully save half of 20 coronavirus patients in severe condition who were all diagnosed little chance of recovery.