The patient was connected to Getinge’s Permanent Life Support (PLS) System that oxygenates the patient’s blood outside the body. The blood is then circulated through a membrane oxygenator and reinfused directly into the patient’s arterial system. This maintains circulation and ensures that the brain is supplied with oxygen.
“The patient was for all practical purposes dead, as despite cardiopulmonary resuscitation and cardiac massage for 45 minutes after he sustained a cardiac arrest, the heart could not be revived. He was initiated on a Veno-Arterial Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (VA-ECMO), during cardiac massage (ECPR) and the heart started to beat after 20 minutes. Mr. Thakur woke up after 10 days in a coma, with an artificial heart pump keeping him alive until he received a new heart four days later. Five months after the ordeal, he walks again, happy to be alive and back at work. ECMO therapy brought him back to life before the brain sustained major, irreversible damage. This happens routinely and ECPR is part of our protocol,” Dr. Balakrishnan, Cardiac Sciences Director at Fortis Malar Hospital in Chennai told The Hindu.