Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Critically ill flu patients saved with artificial lung technology treatment

Date:
January 17, 2013
Source:
University Health Network
Summary:
In recent weeks, the intensive critical care units at University Health Network's Toronto General Hospital have used Extra Corporeal Lung Support to support five influenza patients in their recovery from severe respiratory problems.

In recent weeks the intensive critical care units at University Health Network's Toronto General Hospital have used Extra Corporeal Lung Support (ECLS) to support five influenza (flu) patients in their recovery from severe respiratory problems. ECLS systems are normally used at the hospital as a bridge to lung transplantation but increasingly, the hospital is using ECLS on patients where the usual breathing machines (ventilators) cannot support the patient whose lungs need time to rest and heal.

Related Articles


The ECLS systems are essentially artificial lungs that oxygenate the patient's blood outside the body, which gives lungs the chance to rest and heal. This method of oxygenation means that a ventilator is not used to help the patient breath and also means that the patient is not exposed to the possibility of further lung injury, which can happen to ventilated patients. The use of ECLS system requires expertise in its use to avoid other problems such as clots, bleeding problems and infections related to use of the device.

The lung is the only organ that, even when injured, is required to support the life of the patient while it is enduring the injury and trying to recover. The ventilators routinely used in this setting can actually add further injury to the lung on top of the original injury caused by the flu or pneumonia. This is where ECLS can play an important role by taking over the job of the lung so that the lung has a chance to be treated, rest and recover.

"ECLS is an important part of our ability to bridge patients to lung transplantation and we have a great deal of experience in its use," said Dr. Shaf Keshavjee, who directs the ECLS Program as part of the Toronto Lung Transplant Program. Dr. Keshavjee is a thoracic surgeon and the Surgeon in Chief at University Health Network. "As the technology has improved over the years, we are now able to offer this life-saving therapy to the small percentage of patients with influenza that get into severe trouble with acute lung injury.

This is part of our strategy to be prepared should we have a serious flu epidemic. The past few weeks have illustrated that our planning and training of our team has paid off. When several Ontario hospitals called us for help with their patients in serious lung failure, we were able to transfer those patients in and provide this life-saving therapy. All five patients survived to be weaned off the ECLS machines."

The use of ECLS requires insertion of a tube to remove blood from a large vein, which then has oxygen added to it and carbon dioxide removed. The blood is then pumped back into the patient through a second tube in another vein or artery. These patients are taken care of by a team of thoracic surgeons, intensivists, perfusionists and specially trained nurses in the Intensive Care Unit at TGH.

"Earlier this year, a patient arrived for urgent lung transplantation," said Dr. Eddy Fan, Intensivist and Medical Director of the ECLS Program at UHN's Toronto General Hospital. "After using ECLS, the patient's lungs healed themselves and we avoided a lung transplant. This is a remarkable outcome and our experience with flu patients is particularly rewarding for the lntensive Care Unit because we avoid the use of a ventilator which is very difficult for patients and can lead to further lung injury."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Health Network. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Health Network. "Critically ill flu patients saved with artificial lung technology treatment." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130117133321.htm>.
University Health Network. (2013, January 17). Critically ill flu patients saved with artificial lung technology treatment. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 21, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130117133321.htm
University Health Network. "Critically ill flu patients saved with artificial lung technology treatment." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130117133321.htm (accessed April 21, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Teva Offers $40 Billion for Mylan

Teva Offers $40 Billion for Mylan

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 21, 2015) Generic drugmaker Teva Pharmaceutical is offering $82 a share, or $40 billion, for its smaller rival Mylan, in an alternative to Mylan&apos;s deal to buy Perrigo. Bobbi Rebell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Blue Bell Recalls All Products

Blue Bell Recalls All Products

AP (Apr. 21, 2015) Blue Bell Creameries voluntary recalled for all of its products after two samples of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream tested positive for listeria, a potentially deadly bacteria. Blue Bell&apos;s President and CEO issued a video statement. (April 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yemen Doctors at Breaking Point

Yemen Doctors at Breaking Point

Reuters - News Video Online (Apr. 21, 2015) A Sanaa hospital struggles to cope with the high number of casualties with severe injuries, after an air strike left at least 25 dead and hundreds wounded. Deborah Lutterbeck reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Tutu Tuesdays' Brighten Faces at Kids' Hospital

'Tutu Tuesdays' Brighten Faces at Kids' Hospital

AP (Apr. 21, 2015) Doctors and nurses have started wearing ballet tutus every Tuesday to cheer up young hospital patients at a Florida hospital. It started with a request made by a nervous patient -- now, almost the entire staff is wearing the tutus. (April 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins