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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

Reporter & Fill-in Host

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and Vox. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, ... Read Full Bio »