Wednesday, November 11, 2009

ECMO - an Effective ICU Aid in Treating Severe Swine Flu H1N1 Infection

Recent news regarding treatment of severe H1N1 Swine Flu is interesting - promising but sobering.

In notable cases, H1N1 is a stubborn son of a bitch to shake off and get well from, and if not careful it can be overwhelming.

Many other pre-existing medical conditions can contribute to a stubborn case of H1N1.

But with a glimmer of hope, severe cases can be treated with somewhat better prognosis using a novel technique intensive care method called ECMO - ExtraCorporeal Membrane Oxygenation.

Essentially since H1N1 attacks the lungs, the virus is hitting the body's ability to deal with the infection itself by significantly impairing oxygen levels in the circulatory system, when stricken with a severe case of H1N1.

ECMO is an invasive means using a special catheter and external oxygenating membrane to assist in significantly reoxygenate the blood, deficient in oxygen from the reduced functioning of the lungs when infected with a stiff case of H1N1.

A procedure not for the faint of heart, expensive, and definitely a hospital beside procedure with its own risks. There is no huge hospital capacity for this treatment if a widespread pandemic might arrive, as the equipment is expensive and it is a somewhat risky procedure, due to the depth of insertion of a special catheter.

But the ECMO technique seems to be effective in treatment to help severe cases.

Here are some links to articles on ECMO for treatment of severe Swine Flu - H1N1 viral infections :

ECMO Is Better Than Conventional Ventilation For Treating Severe Respiratory Failure From Conditions Like Swine Flu

ECMO - Will We Have Sufficient Capacity for the Fall/Winter Flu Season?

ECMO respirators saving swine flu victims

Lung treatment for swine flu patients

Intensive care procedure saves lives: Swine flu study

Swine Flu: Everything You Need to Know

Swine Flu Pandemic Paradox Kills Few, Overwhelms ICUs

Swine flu - a new wall of silence

Swine flu - critical care bed shortage revealed

ECMO for Swine Flu - The Westmead Experience. Simon Zidar

Sturgeon: UK needs ECMO machines to treat swine flu cases Health minister makes plea for life-saving treatment

The ECMO Option


Examining how swine flu killed a 'very healthy' teen
Complications from MRSA bacteria contribute to first local H1N1 fatality

Oxygen therapy in swine flu

News and Articles on ECMO - Surfwax

Mother positive after surviving virus

ECMO better for severe respiratory failure

Third Scot dies from swine flu in 24 hours

Sturgeon: UK needs ECMO machines to treat swine flu cases Health

Scots Researchers Pioneer Portable ECMO Treatment

Successful ECMO trial

Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) Can Be Invaluable During Influenza Season

High-tech treatment may save lives in swine flu outbreak

Swine flu deaths in Australia could have doubled without the use of a mechanical heart and lung treatment, says doctor.

Treatment for severe respiratory failure in swine flu is better with ECMO with conventional ventilation

Study provides clue to surviving Swine Flu

In any case, a simple means to help limit H1N1 severity, specifically by boosting the immune system, is to take large doses of VITAMIN D - of order of 1gm per day regularly, and if ill, taking 3 -> 4 gms per day, for short term of 3 -4 days duration.

Low vitamin D is apparently a simple risk factor for more severe prognoses of H1N1, and given that Vitamin D is cheap, USE IT.

Google VITAMIN D and H1N1 Swine Flu.

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