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Respiratory Device Using Low-Flow Extracorporeal Carbon Dioxide Removal Technology Aids Recovery in COVID-19 Patients with Pneumonia

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 22 Jan 2021
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Image: Hemolung Respiratory Assist System (Photo courtesy of ALung Technologies, Inc)
Image: Hemolung Respiratory Assist System (Photo courtesy of ALung Technologies, Inc)
A low-flow extracorporeal carbon dioxide removal (ECCO₂R) respiratory device is helping treat COVID-19 patients with acute respiratory failure.

The Hemolung Respiratory Assist System (RAS) from ALung Technologies, Inc. (Pittsburgh, PA, USA) is the only ECCO₂R device currently granted an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of COVID-19. ECCO₂R therapy with the Hemolung RAS allows carbon dioxide to be removed from the blood independently of the lungs with the aim of facilitating the avoidance or reduction of intubation and invasive mechanical ventilation. The first fully-integrated Respiratory Dialysis system, the Hemolung RAS combines advanced technology with user-centered design to provide simple, effective, and minimally invasive extracorporeal CO2 removal (ECCO₂R). Removing carbon dioxide and delivering oxygen directly to the blood allows the patient’s lungs to rest and heal while avoiding intubation and/or facilitating protective ventilation.

“We are pleased to be able to assist in this fight against the COVID-19 viral disease by providing the use of the Hemolung RAS as a tool for physicians to be used in conjunction with IMV, by reducing or eliminating the potential of further lung damage caused by high ventilator driving pressures, often referred to as Ventilator Induced Lung Injury (VILI). We are treating COVID-19 patients in greater than 20 hospitals worldwide,” said Mr. Peter M. DeComo, Chairman and CEO of ALung Technologies.

“The Hemolung RAS has enabled us to recover patients with COVID pneumonia during the pandemic. In select patients where there is a selective issue with hypercarbic respiratory acidosis while their oxygen requirements have normalized post-Veno-Venous ECMO cannulation, we have utilized Hemolung as a bridge in their recovery. We have noticed that these patients are able to wean off mechanical circulatory support in a gradual manner. Additionally, at a time when there was a shortage of ECMO circuits, our program has relied on utilizing this technology in stabilizing patients with severe hypercarbic respiratory acidosis while providing lung protective ventilation,” stated Dr. Bindu Akkanti, MD, Associate Professor of Medicine, Divisions of Critical Care, Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine, McGovern Medical School, and Director of Heart and Vascular Critical Care, Memorial Hermann - Texas Medical Center.

Related Links:
ALung Technologies, Inc.

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