Emergency medicine: heart-lung machine brings clinically dead patients back to life

Emergency medicine: heart-lung machine brings clinically dead patients back to life

Young people especially who suffer acute heart failure can be saved with the prompt use of a heart-lung machine. And the number of patients that can be saved could be even higher, according to a current study by the University Department of Emergency Medicine at the Medical University of Vienna.

Heart-lung machines are normally used in operating theatres and on intensive care units. A study by the University Department of Emergency Medicine at the MedUni Vienna has demonstrated that this technology can also save people's lives in an emergency medicine setting in which other resuscitation measures have been unsuccessful.

The study's authors, led by Fritz Sterz, report that around 15 per cent of patients have been successfully brought back to life with this technology since 1995 – and without any long-term damage. Says Sterz: "The patients are primarily young people. They are only 35 years old on average. If more of them were brought to us immediately, we could save many more young people's lives."

More information: "Emergency cardio-pulmonary bypass in cardiac arrest: Seventeen years of Experience.". Christian Wallmüller, Fritz Sterza, Christoph Testori, Andreas Schober, Peter Stratil, David Hörburger, Mathias Stöckl, Christoph Weiser, Danica Kricanac, Daniel Zimpfer, Zeno Deckert, Michael Holzer; Resuscitation. 2012 Jul 16. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22800860

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