The coronavirus revolution has pushed the number of patients in the country exposed to extracorporeal membrane oxidation devices (ECMO) to a record 52, according to the Israeli Medical Association, exceeding the predictions worst for the virus revolution.
Already dense hospitals are struggling to find enough staff to be able to connect more patients to the life-saving devices, the IMA ECMO department chairman warned.
Unlike air machines that simply aid breathing, ECMO devices provide heart and respiratory support by oxidizing a patient’s blood outside the body and are used for the most severe. .
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Yigal Kassif, who is also in charge of ECMO services at Sheba Medical Center, told the Ynet website that there are 45 coronavirus patients on the devices and another seven who have other illnesses.
He said an upper limit of 50 patients on ECMO was “playing a stellar role in the blackest predictions at the onset of the pandemic,” which is why medical officials pressured the Ministry of Health 30 buy an ECMO machine.
Kassif said he spends a lot of time moving ECMO machines between hospitals where staff are struggling to accommodate even one or two other patients.
“Really, really, we can’t save much more,” he said. “Those involved are very hopeful and praying that we can’t be from Northern Italy or New York. in the first wave, “he said, referring to areas where severe cases in hospitals outweighed facilities for treatment, with fatal outcomes.
Citing data from the Ministry of Health, the report said there are 70 devices in the country in total, but each requires two nurses, a technician, and a doctor.
The devices are not evenly distributed across the country, with larger hospitals tending to get more and some smaller medical centers without machines at all.
Earlier in the week, Ministry of Health sources said that if the facilities situation worsens, ethics committees will need to be set up to choose who will live and who will die, Ynet said.
Overall, in the last few days the number of serious cases across the country has fallen slightly, plunging below 1,000 for the first time in several weeks.
Israel has struggled to bring down infection rates during the third wave of coronavirus outbreaks, despite a national closure in its fifth week and a mass inoculation program that has given vaccination prospects to more than a quarter of the population. New, infectious coonavirus mutations are being blamed for keeping up with new cases every day in the thousands.
Last week, Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan said that “the new mutations are causing much worse illness and affecting younger people,” adding that most of the those connected to ECMO machines in their forties and fifties, compared to the previous waves when most of them were in the sixties.
Since the virus outbreak began early last year, 721,759 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus in Israel, according to Ministry of Health figures released Saturday.
There are 60,956 active cases and 5,340 people have died from COVID-19 in the country.