ECMO saves mans life after battling influenza

August 25, 2016

Since 2009, Saint Luke’s has used Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) to save the lives of more than 95 people who were facing cardiac or respiratory failure. ECMO can fully support the heart and lungs until the underlying problem is resolved or organ transplantation occurs. Saint Luke’s is the region’s most experienced adult ECMO program. Here are just a few of the amazing stories from patients who received ECMO support.

Christopher Cook, 50 years old
VV ECMO: 15 days

Chris was transferred to Saint Luke’s Hospital on March 31, 2016, with severe respiratory failure due to influenza A.

He was placed on VV ECMO for total lung support because of the critically low oxygen levels in his blood. While on ECMO, he suffered a large brain bleed that required surgical intervention but wasn’t expected to survive. ECMO allowed him to recover, and after 15 days he was taken off support. Unbelievably, he left the hospital on May 2, 2016, and is now home and doing well. He made a full neurologic recovery except for mild vision impairment.