ECMO was invented by Dr. Bartlett in Ann Harbor Michigan, in the 60s and 70s to treat premature babies with lungs development issues. ECMO has remained confined to the pediatric realm, seeing very little innovation, till the mid 2000, when the first flu pandemics of the modern era happened. Due to the SARS, Swine and avian flu, MERS, etc. doctors, confronted with intractable patients with high mortality, started using ECMO as a last resort therapy and seeing promising results basically decided to expand the usage of ECMO to the adult milieu.
Not only, but more and more pathologies treatments involving ECMO started to emerge with promising results and today ECMO is a bit of a swiss army knife therapy for a host of serious ailments.
It is used on premature babies, as a bridge to transplant, post cardiac surgery, in COPD patients, in flu patients, etc and has seen a tremendous expansion in emergency situations, in patients where all traditional resuscitation efforts have previously failed. To the point that today, ECMO is pushing the boundaries of what “death” means, given the fact that some patients are resuscitated from situations considered previously beyond intervention (drownings, hypothermia deaths, fumes inhalation, prolonged cardiac arrest, etc). But problems remain; transportability, flexibility, necessity to use massive drug doses with consequent severe side effects and high costs hamper the potential expansion of ECMO. Elsius pCAS addresses most of those issues and we believe will allow ECMO to become a standard of care and standard equipment on most emergency vehicles. Help us make it a reality!