Question Could a CPB pump be used to keep a Covid-19 patient alive?

Apr 13, 2020
2
1
15
I'm wondering if a CPB pump (heart-lung machine) could be used to keep a Covid-19 patient alive while their lungs are too infected to be able to supply sufficient oxygen. I realize that CPB pumps were designed to supply oxygen and pump blood when a patient's heart is not functioning, such as during cardiac surgery. But could the pump also be used to supply oxygen during the period of time that a Covid-19 patient's lungs aren't functioning adequately?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Albertina Geller
Apr 13, 2020
2
1
15
Thanks for your reply Albertina. Ventilators are being used to help patients breathe. But when Covid-19 patients die it is usually because even with a ventilator they are unable to get enough oxygen. The CPB pump is a way of getting oxygen without using the lungs. Since my original post I've learned that there are problems using CPB pumps for more than maybe a day or two at the most. However there is another similar device called an ECMO that can be used for periods of 3 to 10 days (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3963750/). Here's an article about the use of an ECMO devices to try to save critically ill Covid-19 patients:


Per the article, whether and when to use these devices for Covid-19 patients are complicated questions.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY