With the surge in COVID cases in the past two years, people have increasingly become aware of ECMO therapy. Patients affected with severe lung inefficiency need ECMO therapy. The Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) is a medical procedure used to pump the blood out of the body to a heart-lung machine that removes carbon dioxide. The oxygenated blood is then sent back into the body to prevent further problems. The therapy comes with cost implications. The ECMO therapy cost in India varies as per the medical facility chosen.
How Does It Work?
The machine is fixed to the heart to let the blood flow from the right ventricular of the heart into the oxygenator. The membrane oxygenator warms the blood and sends it back to the body tissues, reviving the systems and providing life support. ECMO facilitates the blood flow to bypass the heart and lungs, allowing the organs to rest and heal healthily.
Why Use ECMO?
One of the most cutting-edge inventions of science, ECMO is a boon for critical health situations involving the heart and lungs. The current facilitation it provides is in medical conditions such as COVID-19, ARDS etc. The need and demand for ECMO have risen especially post COVID. Patients recovering from or waiting for a heart transplant may also be benefitted from the equipment, especially when other life support systems have failed to provide the desired support.
ECMO Therapy Cost in India
Before opting for ECMO, it is essential to understand the ECMO therapy cost in India. The state-of-the-art therapy costs around 1.5 lakhs to 3 lakhs per day, depending on the medical facility. It is advisable to consult with the qualified doctors at the facility to know the procedure, efficacy and outcomes.
Where Is It Used?
Some of the health disorders where ECMO proves to be beneficial are:
- Cardiac Arrest
- Disorders related to heart Muscles
- Heart Muscle Inflammation
- Pre and Post Heart Transplant
- Life-Threatening Infections
- Coronavirus Complications
- Meconium Aspiration for Foetus
- Blood Clotting
How Is It Performed?
It is advisable to let the surgeon or the attending doctor decide if an ECMO is needed or not. Depending on the severity of the condition, if ECMO is required, a well-trained respiratory therapist will prepare the patient for the therapy. Then the doctor will insert a cannula, a thin rubber tube, into a vein for blood suction. Another tube is inserted into the artery to send the warm oxygenated blood into the body. The patients are usually under general anaesthesia during the therapy to eliminate any discomfort.
As per the severity of the condition, the therapy may be repeated for a few days. It might take a few weeks if recovering from stringent heart or lung conditions.
What Results Can You Expect From ECMO?
While the therapy is beneficial for most critical heart and lung disorders, the success of the treatment hugely depends on the response the body sends. The seriousness of the health condition often determines the results.