South Florida Hospital News
Friday September 18, 2020

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September 2020 - Volume 17 - Issue 3


ECMO Celebration of Life event at Memorial Regional Hospital's Conference Center


ECMO Survivors Group

The Memorial Cardiac & Vascular Institute recently reunited formerly acutely ill patients with those who helped save their lives, in larger part through the use of an ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) machine. The technology enables doctors to bypass a compromised heart and lungs and keep patients alive, even when their own organs can't sustain them.

It was an emotional scene at the Memorial Regional Hospital Conference Center, with many ‘thank yous,’ tears, and shared memories. Attendees heard from former patient Maria Akhlatkina and Paul Houston, the father of former pediatric patient Sam, who described how what they thought were minor medical issues quickly escalated into life or death situations. MCVI doctors I-wen Wang, a cardiac surgeon and chief of adult heart transplant, and Lance Cohen, medical director of the heart surgical unit, spoke about how Memorial has utilized ECMO, both in the hospital and in specially-equipped mobile units, to save the lives of its own patients and those in other facilities.

ECMO has now been used on more than 130 patients since the technology was incorporated into treatment by Memorial in 2014.

Memorial Cardiac and Vascular Institute is a heart specialist hospital staffed by a collaborative group of cardiac physicians and surgeons that treat an extensive range of heart & vascular conditions. They offer patients answers, from preventive heart health to high-tech procedures in the catheterization lab to heart transplant.

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