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ECMO Treats Acute Respiratory and Cardiopulmonary Failure

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 03 Mar 2020
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Image: The Novalung extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) system (Photo courtesy of FMCNA)
Image: The Novalung extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) system (Photo courtesy of FMCNA)
An innovative heart and lung support system permits long-term acute respiratory or cardiopulmonary failure treatment.

The Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA; Waltham, MA, USA) Novalung extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) system is designed to provide long-term (over six hours) respiratory and/or cardiopulmonary support in order to assist physiologic gas exchange (oxygenation and CO2 removal) and extracorporeal circulation of the blood in adults with acute respiratory failure, acute cardiopulmonary failure, or both, and in situations where other treatment options have failed, and continued clinical deterioration is expected or the risk of death is imminent.

The system consists of the Novalung console panel, power supply, sensor box, and the pump drive, and is designed to power and monitor operation of the blood pump head in the extracorporeal circuit. A touchscreen monitor displays all data, parameters, and values. System parameters can be selected and adjusted by pressing the touchscreen, as well as by using the control panel function keys and the center knob. The sensor box allows data to be transferred to the console and displayed on the control panel, with connectors for pressure sensors that connect to the XLung kit tubing set and a flow sensor.

The XLung kit contains a disposable tubing set and various accessories, such as a gas line, a priming line, stopcocks, luer caps, a Christmas tree connector, tubing clamps, and cable ties. The tubing set comes pre-connected to the hollow fiber membrane oxygenator and the blood pump head, which forms an extracorporeal circuit. The XLung kit tubing has three integrated pressure sensors that connect to the sensor box, which detect air bubbles in the extracorporeal circuit and measure blood flow in a range of 1–7 Liters per minute.

“Novalung is a critical leap forward in providing heart and lung support therapy for a longer duration than ever available before,” said Mark Costanzo, president of the technologies and pharmaceuticals division of FMCNA. “We've applied our leadership and technical expertise in renal medical devices to elevate standards for acute respiratory and cardiopulmonary failure treatments and technologies. We're proud to broaden our care offerings to provide new therapies for patients with acute cardiopulmonary conditions.”

ECMO is a form of veno-venous extracorporeal life support (VV ECLS), an emerging therapy designed to provide a higher level of life support by infusing oxygen directly into the blood using an oxygenator that acts as an artificial lung. A tapered cannula provides omni-directional flow, optimizing gas exchange and reducing stress on the right side of the heart.

Related Links:
Fresenius Medical Care North America

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