Magazine article USA TODAY

Portable Device Replaces Ventilator

Magazine article USA TODAY

Portable Device Replaces Ventilator

Article excerpt

Cystic fibrosis is ranked as one of the most widespread life-shortening genetic maladies. This lung disease results from clogging of the airways due to mucosa buildup, inducing inflammation. Infection and inflammation cause injury and structural changes to the lungs, leading to a variety of medical complications. Respiratory failure is the most common cause of death.

A 50-year-old former marathon runner with end-stage cystic fibrosis became one of the few in the world and the first in New York to use a new portable artificial lung to extend her life while waiting for a lung transplantation. A standard respiratory ventilator no longer was effective at keeping the patient alive because her lungs had become too diseased. Administered by the transplant team at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, the device provided oxygen to the patient without her needing to rely on a ventilator. Bypassing her lungs, it oxygenated her blood directly through a two-way connection to a vein in her chest.

"The portable ECMO device, which works like an artificial lung, saved this womans life," declares Matthew Bacchetta, the thoracic surgeon who led the transplant operation. He also is assistant professor of surgery at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. "By connecting her to this machine, she was able to get the oxygen her body desperately needed. At the same time, she was able to eat, walk around, even talk on her own. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.