Taking the emergency room right to the patient, wherever they are. A new procedure done for the first time in Albuquerque is allowing first responders and E.R. doctors to do just that. A potentially life-saving procedure done in the back of an ambulance.
“At the point we do this, the patient, if we didn’t have this available, would be pronounced dead,” says Dr. Darren Braude.
Doctors at UNM Hospital, Albuquerque Ambulance Service staff, and Albuquerque Fire Rescue were able to treat a patient suffering from cardiac arrest last week using this portable machine called an ECMO.
“We’re then taking that group that we were ready to pronounce dead and giving them a 30% chance of surviving with their brain intact,” Braude says.
ECMO stands for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. The machine essentially does the work of the heart and lungs and is often used on patients who are in cardiac arrest.