Hospital uses ECMO to save A/H1N1 flu patient

The National Tropical Disease Hospital in Hanoi has treated a seriously infected A/H1N1 patient by using artificial heart and lung.

64 year old Trinh Xuan Tu in the northern province of Hai Duong was hospitalized in serious condition in April, 2014. Professor Nguyen Van Kinh, the hospital’s director, said that patient Tu was taken to the emergency room when he had experiencing breathing problems and pneumonia owing to flu A/H1N1 infection.

Though he was put on ventilator, he suffered high fever and serious breathing failure and his condition did not abate. It is anticipated that he could die at any time.

Because the ventilator could not save the patient, doctors decided to implement ECMO, a modified heart-lung machine that pumps and oxygenates a patient's blood, thus allowing the heart and lungs to rest. This is a technology to bring hope to those who have a devastating lung injury or heart failure.

After ten day use of ECMO technology, the patient’s lung is recovered and doctors continued to apply other treatment to save him.

The successful use of ECMO technology  has paved the way for new treatment method in the hospital, said Prof Kinh.

The patient was discharged from the hospital on August 13 in stable condition after four month treatment.

By Minh Khang – Translated by Uyen Phuong

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