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Machine Keeps Patients Alive for Weeks After Respiratory Failure and Cardiac Arrest

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The ECMO machine functions like a heart or lung. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

The ECMO machine functions like a heart or lung. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

Florida’s Hospital has just expanded to make it possible to treat more patients on a life support machine. Dr. Scott Silvestry says he’s treated more than 300 patients since 2015 with the machine, from patients who have suffered respiratory failure to patients waiting for a transplant.

“This is part of our continuum of tools to advance cardiac and respiratory care here. We do lung transplants and heart transplants. We also do mechanical support on permanent devices for people who aren’t transplant candidates or to get them there.”

He says the ECMO machine works by cleaning out the blood and pumping it full of oxygen again. 

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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur


Danielle Prieur grew up listening to her grandfather’s stories of swimming across the Detroit River from Canada and many other adventures. She’s been into storytelling ever since. She studied writing at the University of Michigan. She trained in public radio at WDET’s Detroit newsroom, and is really excited ... Read Full Bio »