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Dr Rajneesh Malhotra
(Chief Cardiac Surgeon)
Max Super Specaility Hospital
(East Block), Saket
Phone: +91-11-26515050, 9999722781
Fax: +91-11-2651-0050
Email: drrajneeshmalhotra@gmail.com
Ms.Vandana Rawat
(Secretary to Dr. Rajneesh Malhotra)
Phone: +91-9650429068

Dr Rajneesh Malhotra Blog

NEW TECHNIQUES ECMO - Extra Corporal Membrane Oxygenation

There was a revolution with the invention of Heart & Lung Machine. Previously we knew heart diseases and probably think of a solution but we could not do much. Heart could not be stopped for even a minute. With heart and lung machine it was possible to bypass the heart from the system and operate on it. It was fabulous achievement. Millions of heart patients across the world could be saved by this technique. Once the baseline of cardiac patients was saved then we found another huge number of patients who need something other than Heart and Lung Machine.

Like any other organ of our body Heart and lung do get so ill that they need rest from their daily duties when they are tired, sick or injured. But if they go on rest the person will die. In any case they have to work. At times the condition of the patient deteriorates and eventually the death is inevitable. Time was the major limiting factor of Heart & Lung machine. We can support the patient on heart lung machine for 6-8 hours. We couldn't used for more than 6-8hours. There is so many conditions that need to bypass heart and /or lung from days to weeks. This requirement is answered by ECMO.

ECMO is a machine made up of two components

  • Pump (Artificial heart)
  • Oxygenator (Artificial Lung).

Pump takes 3000-5000 of RPM to pump the same amount of blood into the body as the heart does. In infections of the Heart like Myocarditis or Pulmonary Embolism the heart needs time to recover. If we keep heart on ECMO the heart is bypassed. It is in resting phase. When it recovers it can function as if one works after adequate rest. In other conditions where it has proved very successful are Cardiac Failure, Drug Overdose or Poisoning related to low BP and Cardiac arrest less than 15minutes. ECMO has proved its worth in patients who are waiting for Heart Transplant.

Oxygenator clears the blood of carbon dioxide and refreshes the blood with oxygen. It virtually replaces the Lungs. In severe conditions like H1N1(swine flu) where Lungs give away, ECMO can take over the function of Lungs and give rest to them. This gives Lungs ample time to recover and start function normally. Other life threatening conditions which resolve due to ECMO are Viral and Bacterial Pneumonias, Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) Pulmonary Hemorrhage, Severe Asthma, Meconium aspiration in children. It is only answer in Rat poisoning.

All over the world it has been used over 53,000 patients and seventy percent i.e. more than 37,000 of them been saved. This technique has been long waited. At last it in the country. Hopefully so it will save another millions of precious lives as heart & Lung Machine did.

Posted on : October 19, 2013 by Best Cardiac Doctors in Delhi
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