Two local hospitals prepared to treat multi-system organ failure caused by COVID-19

Local News

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Two hospitals within the HCA Healthcare system in Virginia have been certified to treat patients who’ve developed multi-system organ failure due to COVID-19 or other causes.

According to a press release sent on Thursday, Chippenham Hospital and Henrico Doctor’s Hospital have certified Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation programs through the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization.

The ECMO machine is used to replace the function of the heart and lungs. It can help patients who are unable to get enough oxygen, who can’t dispose of carbon dioxide even with a ventilator and are struggling to pump enough blood from the heart to the body.

“The nation has seen an increase in the need for ECMO with the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Ryan Jensen, Henrico Doctors’ Hospitals chief executive officer. “Being certified on this registry makes us a premiere location for the sickest COVID-19, respiratory, and cardiac patients”

According to a release from HCA, this new certification allows the hospitals to collaborate with other ELSO providers, reach higher standards of care, help patients get the best chance of organ recovery and use ECMO as a lifesaving effort for critical COVID-19 patients.

“This designation allows other medical teams nationwide to identify our hospitals as referral centers for this advanced care for multi-system organ failure,” said William Lunn, Chippenham and Johnston-Willis Hospitals chief executive officer and pulmonary/critical care M.D. “We have already received referrals from hospitals as far away as Georgia who transferred critically ill patients to our hospital for ECMO support.”

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