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Ashburn, VA
A 19-year-old male asked:

Someone i know had covid-19 and died after being on a ventilator for a while and having a bacterial infection in the lungs and other problems until the oxygen sat ended up on 75% then died 7 hours later... is there a reason that prevented using ecmo?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Bennett Machanic
Neurology 52 years experience
Your concerns: We have no ideas of why other physicians may or may not use certain approaches to treat their patients, as all cases vary. We are continually learning more about this pandemic, and shifting therapeutic choices on an ongoing basis. Your question is a good one, but may not have a clearcut answer at this point. Perhaps you could discuss with doctors where you live to get their perspective.
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
COVID 19: I can't speak for th medical decisions made in this case. However, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is a very expensive treatment that is not offered in many facilities. It's availability would be limited even if facilities that do provide it. It has been used some in treatment of severe COVID cases - but it is by no means standard of care.

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Last updated Dec 26, 2020

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