The latest report, released today in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) revealed the extent to which doctors in Australia and New Zealand used extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) during the height of the pandemic during June to August 2009.
ECMO is the most advanced and invasive form of life support available for lung failure and has previously been used rarely. This winter, 68 patients suffering severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) - a major symptom of the H1N1 virus - were treated with ECMO.
At the time of the report, 54 of the 68 patients had survived and 14 (21 per cent) had died. Six patients remained in ICU, including two who were still receiving ECMO. Sixteen patients were still in hospital but had moved out of ICU, and 32 had been discharged from the hospital.
ECMO takes blood from the body through large plastic tubes and circulates it through a system that adds oxygen. ECMO is generally used for a limited time because of the risks of bleeding, clotting, infection and organ failure. ARDS is a very severe condition where the lungs fail due to the rapid accumulation of fluid within the lungs.
The team was led by Monash University researcher Dr Andrew Davies, Senior Research Fellow at the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Research Centre, who said the H1N1 patients admitted to ICU's were suffering symptoms of respiratory failure and there seemed no choice but to use ECMO to try and save their lives.
"We had not used ECMO machines to treat swine flu patients before because the disease was new to us – but now we know the treatment works and despite the severity of patients' symptoms, most survived," Dr Davies said.
The average duration of ECMO treatment was ten days and the patients stayed in the hospital for an average of 39 days.
The research team - Australia and New Zealand Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ANZ ECMO) Influenza Investigators - conducted the observational study in 15 intensive care units (ICUs) in Australia and New Zealand between June 1 and August 31, 2009.
The researchers looked at a range of factors including degree of lung dysfunction in patients, how many patients were admitted, the duration of treatment and survival.
Dr David Gattas, Intensive Care Specialist at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney said the research information would better prepare ICU's in the Northern Hemisphere for the patients who develop the more severe cases of the virus.
"The findings of the study should be widely read in the Northern Hemisphere and we hope this knowledge will help medical teams who may have to make fast decisions about starting advanced life supports such as ECMO. Many of these severely affected flu victims can survive," Dr Gattas said.
For more information or to arrange an interview contact Samantha Blair, Media & Communications +61 3 9903 4841 or 0439 013 951.
Samantha Blair | EurekAlert!
Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung
High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg
Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.
This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...
Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion
Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
25.10.2016 | Earth Sciences
25.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering
25.10.2016 | Process Engineering