What is ECMO?
ECMO– Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. This technique does the job of the lungs and/or heart, allowing the organs to recover when patients are seriously sick. The ECMO treatment could save up to half of the severely affected COVID 19 patients for those who ventilation isn’t working and ECMO treatment cost in India varies according to the seriousness of the patient.
ECMO is basically an artificial lung or heart. Basically this ECMO therapy is used when all other form of support to heart and lungs doesn’t work or gets failed for critically ill patients. Now this treatment is used for people are who are critically suffering from COVID 19 pneumonia and for whom ventilation in sufficient.
As of now, 55% of the COVID 19 patients who were given ECMO treatment and were not able to get recovered from any other treatments and therapies have subsequently survived the condition.
When do we need ECMO treatment?
ECMO is used in the following conditions:
- Incapability of heart to pump sufficient blood to the body
- When lungs cannot exhale carbon dioxide and fulfill the body with oxygen requirements.
- When lungs cannot provide oxygen for circulation despite of external support of oxygen.
How is ECMO useful in COVID-19?
With this ongoing COVID 19 second wave, many COVID patients are struggling to breathe due to the health complications by this disease. Therefore, Doctors have introduced ECMO as one of the major treatment. However, doctors use ECMO as any other method of treatment does not respond.
- Serious patients those who need respiratory support only.
- Patients with serious symptoms that they need both cardiac and respiratory support.
- While CPR is being carried out ECMO may even be indicated
ECMO treatment cost in India
According to hospital sources, putting the patient on ECMO in the first day may cost around Rs 3 to 4 lakh. Cost of ECMO treatment varies from hospital to hospital and also depending upon the patient’s condition.
ECMO machine costs around Rs 35 lakh and the ECMO Kit costs around Rs 3 lakh, which consists of medical consumables.
Risks of ECMO Treatment
- Stroke bleeding blood clot
- Blood clotting disorder
- There may be loss of blood in hands, feet or legs
ECMO Treatment is the last option for patients. However, it is opted when a patient suffers from respiratory failure despite of the ventilator support.
ECMO Machines as well as the ECMO treatment cost in India are very costly therefore, they have to be imported and are short supply.Apart from high expenditure, offering this EMCO treatment needs a lot of workers like atleat two to three nurses and an intensivist have to be present to constantly check on the patients. In addition, a surgeon is also needed.