Posts Tagged ‘ECMO’

In the balance

October 1, 2010

Bad news from Team Ewan. The doctors got him off theĀ  ECMO machine, but a few hours later he began to slip; badly enough that he’s back on it.

We know we have some tough decisions to make in the next day or two. Barring a miracle, we’re faced with the following decision: do we let him go, or do we send him back to the cath lab for a procedure that might rupture his pulmonary arteries?

This family needs your thoughts right now as they prepare to make this choice.

H1N1 Causing heart problems?

February 16, 2010

Here’s a major ut-oh! coming out of San Diego: Four children who fell ill with the H1N1 virus last October have recently fell victim to acute myocarditis. One child died, and two needed Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation… the ECMO machine.

Four cases out of the estimated 56 million people in the US that have had H1N1 is not a cause for panic… but 4 cases in one month in a hospital that previously had seen six cases in three years is a reason to worry. And right now this seems to be limited to the San Diego area. Parents need to be extra viligant about their child’s health if he/she had has the H1N1 virus.

Swine Flu Update: October 21

October 21, 2009

Let’s just call this The Panic Edition! since there are several reports that could really keep you up at night if you let them.

South Korea has a problem. And this is a big problem, too: Five people are dead after receiving their Seasonal Flu shot.

Five people over three days is not a trend, but with all three of them having recently received their vaccinations, it does warrant a second look. South Korea has some smart people looking into this, and Americans need not panic; the vaccine involved is from a local manufacturer and is probably not distributed in the United States.

We have problems of our own to worry about. Eurosurvellence ran a model using Centers for Disease Control reports and they feel that 63% of the people in the US will be infected. They also feel that the vaccination program here will be too little, too late as H1N1 begins to snowball out of control. The American College Health Association contradicts this, they feel the flu is trending down. Anyone want to take a guess?

Our Aussie and New Zealand friends have learned that Oxygen can be a key to survival. 79% of H1N1 patients treated with Oxygen survived their bout with the flu. The bad news is that the 79% were treated with Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO). That’s not a mask over your face, ECMO is an advanced heart-lung machine. And there aren’t that many around.

The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) is also reporting that there seems to be two versions of H1N1 – 99% of the cases make you feel like crap for a week. The other one percent will make you “gravely ill and require staggering amounts of care.”

Mexico has discovered something quite unusual. There is no link here because the original report is in Spanish, and I had to run it through an online translator to read it. Online translators can’t pick up on the subtle clues in a language that a person can, and they can come out looking really strange. It didn’t make any sense at all, so I had to print it out and take it to a person who read it to me – that is why there is no link.

According to the Mexicans, 29% of all H1N1 fatalities in that country involved one factor: the victim was a smoker. When you factor out the people “too young to smoke” the percentage goes up – WAY up.

So now, on top of getting your vaccination, you have a damn good reason to get away from the smokes!