Texas ECMO ambulance transports dying patients

The unit includes advanced equipment and a specially trained team to recover patients from hospitals where nothing more can be done for them


KXAN

AUSTIN, Texas — The Seton Healthcare Family is now operating a specially equipped ambulance that can transport patients dying at one hospital and bring them to Seton Medical Center, keeping them alive all the while. Called ECMO, the $250,000 unit includes advanced equipment and a specially trained team to recover patients from hospitals where nothing more can be done for them.

Since it was up and running a year ago ECMO has retrieved and saved 17 patients, including South Austin’s Sylvia Marmolejo. Sylvia’s health was failing at St. Davids South Austin Medical Center from a severe case of H1N1 flu last winter when they put in the call to ECMO. Dr. Jordan Weingarten, a pulmonary critical care specialist, heads the unit.

“She was on full life support when we got the call, getting everything that could be done and still she was dying,” he recalled. “She was so sick her heart actually stopped.”

Read full storySpecial ambulance helps keep dying patients alive

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