Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Critically Ill Flu Patients Saved With Artificial Lung Technology Treatment Normally Used For Lung Transplant Patients

In recent weeks the intensive critical care units at University Health Network’s Toronto General Hospital have used Extra Corporeal Lung Support (ECLS) to support five influenza (flu) patients in their recovery from severe respiratory problems.
ECLS systems are normally used at the hospital as a bridge to lung transplantation but increasingly, the hospital is using ECLS on patients where the usual breathing machines (ventilators) cannot support the patient whose lungs need time to rest and heal.

The ECLS systems are essentially artificial lungs that oxygenate the patient’s blood outside the body, which gives lungs the chance to rest and heal. This method of oxygenation means that a ventilator is not used to help the patient breath and also means that the patient is not exposed to the possibility of further lung injury, which can happen to ventilated patients. The use of ECLS system requires expertise in its use to avoid other problems such as clots, bleeding problems and infections related to use of the device.
The lung is the only organ that, even when injured, is required to support the life of the patient while it is enduring the injury and trying to recover. The ventilators routinely used in this setting can actually add further injury to the lung on top of the original injury caused by the flu or pneumonia. This is where ECLS can play an important role by taking over the job of the lung so that the lung has a chance to be treated, rest and recover.

“ECLS is an important part of our ability to bridge patients to lung transplantation and we have a great deal of experience in its use,” said Dr. Shaf Keshavjee, who directs the ECLS Program as part of the Toronto Lung Transplant Program. Dr. Keshavjee is a thoracic surgeon and the Surgeon in Chief at University Health Network. “As the technology has improved over the years, we are now able to offer this life-saving therapy to the small percentage of patients with influenza that get into severe trouble with acute lung injury.
This is part of our strategy to be prepared should we have a serious flu epidemic. The past few weeks have illustrated that our planning and training of our team has paid off. When several Ontario hospitals called us for help with their patients in serious lung failure, we were able to transfer those patients in and provide this life-saving therapy. All five patients survived to be weaned off the ECLS machines.”

The use of ECLS requires insertion of a tube to remove blood from a large vein, which then has oxygen added to it and carbon dioxide removed. The blood is then pumped back into the patient through a second tube in another vein or artery. These patients are taken care of by a team of thoracic surgeons, intensivists, perfusionists and specially trained nurses in the Intensive Care Unit at TGH.
“Earlier this year, a patient arrived for urgent lung transplantation,” said Dr. Eddy Fan, Intensivist and Medical Director of the ECLS Program at UHN's Toronto General Hospital. “After using ECLS, the patient’s lungs healed themselves and we avoided a lung transplant. This is a remarkable outcome and our experience with flu patients is particularly rewarding for the lntensive Care Unit because we avoid the use of a ventilator which is very difficult for patients and can lead to further lung injury.”

30 Years Since the World’s First Successful Single-lung Transplant Happened in Toronto
The world’s first successful single-lung transplant was performed at Toronto General Hospital in 1983. Since that time, the Multi-Organ Transplant Program at UHN has led the development of cutting-edge innovations, many of which have transformed how patients with all forms of lung disease and lung failure are treated.

About University Health Network
University Health Network consists of Toronto General and Toronto Western Hospitals, the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, and Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. The scope of research and complexity of cases at University Health Network has made it a national and international source for discovery, education and patient care. It has the largest hospital-based research program in Canada, with major research in cardiology, transplantation, neurosciences, oncology, surgical innovation, infectious diseases, genomic medicine and rehabilitation medicine. University Health Network is a research hospital affiliated with the University of Toronto.
For interviews, please contact:
June Pierotti, Public Affairs & Communications,
Toronto General Hospital, 416-340-3895

June Pierotti | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Medical Engineering:

nachricht Münster researchers make a fly’s heartbeat visible / Software automatically recognizes pulse
12.03.2018 | Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster

nachricht 3-D-written model to provide better understanding of cancer spread
05.03.2018 | Purdue University

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Space observation with radar to secure Germany's space infrastructure

Satellites in near-Earth orbit are at risk due to the steady increase in space debris. But their mission in the areas of telecommunications, navigation or weather forecasts is essential for society. Fraunhofer FHR therefore develops radar-based systems which allow the detection, tracking and cataloging of even the smallest particles of debris. Satellite operators who have access to our data are in a better position to plan evasive maneuvers and prevent destructive collisions. From April, 25-29 2018, Fraunhofer FHR and its partners will exhibit the complementary radar systems TIRA and GESTRA as well as the latest radar techniques for space observation across three stands at the ILA Berlin.

The "traffic situation" in space is very tense: the Earth is currently being orbited not only by countless satellites but also by a large volume of space...

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

New solar solutions for sustainable buildings and cities

23.03.2018 | Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

For graphite pellets, just add elbow grease

23.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Unique communication strategy discovered in stem cell pathway controlling plant growth

23.03.2018 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

Sharpening the X-ray view of the nanocosm

23.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>