ECMO was the only option for the sick baby in the paediatric ICU, whose lung functioning had deteriorated so much that there was a drastic drop in the oxygen levels in the blood.

The Kerala Institute of Medical Sciences (KIMS) here has successfully used the sophisticated ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation) treatment to save the life of a nine-month-old baby, who had been extremely sick following pneumonia progressing to Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome, a press release issued by KIMS hospital said here.

Only option

ECMO was the only option for the sick baby in the paediatric ICU, whose lung functioning had deteriorated so much that there was a drastic drop in the oxygen levels in the blood.

Bypass support

According to the National Institutes of Health, U.S., ECMO treatment makes use of a pump to circulate blood through an artificial lung back into the bloodstream of a very ill baby, providing a heart-lung bypass support outside of the baby’s body.

The purpose of ECMO is to provide enough oxygen to the baby while allowing time for the lungs and heart to rest or heal.

Artificial lung

The ECMO pump is attached to the baby through catheters placed into large blood vessels in the baby's neck.

The pump continuously removes blood from the baby, circulates it through the artificial lung and puts the oxygenated blood back into the baby, while the baby’s lungs heal.

Team of specialists

The procedure was done by a team of specialists led by Pranoy Osa, a consultant from Mumbai, along with a team of specialists in KIMS.

Fully fit

The baby was taken off the ECMO machine after seven days and discharged fully fit a few days ago, the release said.