Two COVID-19 patients in the United States have recovered after being treated with an experimental therapy known as extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).
Ryan Padgett and Enes Dedic, both doctors, were reported to have been critically ill with the disease before their caregivers resorted to the therapy.
ECMO procedure, commonly used for long-term respiratory or cardiopulmonary failure, involves re-oxygenating blood removed from a patient’s body and returning it afterwards.
According to Daily Mail, “doctors remove the patients’ blood from their bodies, rejuvenate it with oxygen, and return it to the patients when mechanical ventilation isn’t enough to save their lives.”
Padgett was quoted as telling the Los Angeles Times his treatment and recovery is “movie-like”, and it “doesn’t happen in the real world often.”
“I was just the fortunate recipient of people who said, “we are not done. We are going into an experimental realm to try and save your life”,” he added.
Various hospitals across the US are now said to be experimenting with the therapy as a supplement to ventilation.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently issued guidance regarding the use of (ECMO) therapy in managing coronavirus patients.
There is no known drug or vaccine for COVID-19 yet, but the World Health Organisation (WHO) said 70 vaccines are being developed for the disease.
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