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Eastern India’s largest ECMO unit becomes operational in Odisha

“Though ECMO unit had become functional at AIIMS-Bhubaneswar in the last month, we are yet to administer ECMO therapy as no COVID critical patient has been referred for clinical intervention so far”, said B. Geetanjali, Director of AIIMS-Bhubaneswar.

SNS | Bhubaneswar |

Eastern India’s largest Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) clinical intervention facility for critically-ill COVOD-19 patients became operational on Friday at Cuttack’s SCB Medical College and Hospital, State’s premiere government-run healthcare facility.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik while dedicating the ECMO health facility declared the treatment to be provided free to people of the State.

“It is the largest ECMO facility in Eastern India. The critically ill Covid patients in Odisha will no longer be required to be shifted elsewhere. The ECMO treatment is costly in private health units. Therefore, the government will provide it free to people”, Patnaik said in a video message.

Highly qualified medical professionals have been recruited for the operation and management of nine ECMO machines at SCB medical college and hospital, he said.

The state-of-the-art ECMO facility has already been rolled out by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)-Bhubaneswar for the first time in the State on 15 July last.

The Food Security Act ration cardholders requiring critical medical attention for Covid-19 are also being provided free ECMO) clinical therapy at the AIIMS-Bhubaneswar,

The ECMOs will provide emergency supportive care to patients undergoing post-COVID complications besides other emergency health issues, he said.

As the raging 2nd wave of the pandemic had taken a firm grip in the State during May-June, the healthcare facilities in Odisha did not have ECMO that acts as an artificial heart and pair of artificial lungs outside the body which removes carbon dioxide from the patient’s blood and adds oxygen to it.

There are innumerable instances of airlifting of critically ill COVID patients from Odisha to other parts of the country for ECMO therapy.

“Though ECMO unit had become functional at AIIMS-Bhubaneswar in the last month, we are yet to administer ECMO therapy as no COVID critical patient has been referred for clinical intervention so far”, said B. Geetanjali, Director of AIIMS-Bhubaneswar.