Odisha plans to install 6 ECMO machines at SCB Medical College & Hospital in Cuttack

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Bhubaneswar, Jun 7 (PTI) The Odisha government has decided to install extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machines at SCB Medical College Hospital in Cuttack for treatment of critical COVID-19 patients.

Director of the Directorate of Medical Education and Training (DMET) Prof CBK Mohanty said the state government would soon procure six ECMO machines for patients suffering from lung ailment caused by COVID-19 infection.

In the first phase, six ECMO machines will be installed at the Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery (CTVS) Department of the SCB Medical College & Hospital, he said.

To oversee the proper functioning of the ECMO unit, the Odisha State Medical Corporation (OSMC) has formed a six- member technical committee, including DMET chief and Dr.

Jayant Kumar Panda (HoD of Medicine Department, SCB).

Later, the equipment will be made available in other hospitals.

Prof Mohanty said procuring the costly machine is not a problem. But, the state does not have the required trained manpower to operate such machines.

Authorities of the SCB Medical College and Hospital have recently submitted a report to the Health and Family Welfare Department regarding the requirement of staff and infrastructure for the operation of ECMO machines.

There is a huge requirement for ECMO treatment especially for critical COVID patients suffering from lung ailment for which many patients are being airlifted to other places.

As the treatment is expensive and not available in state-run hospitals in Odisha, it has become more challenging for doctors to save lives from COVID-19.

H&FW department sources said that there are only 21 such ECMO machines in the country of which 19 are in the private sector. Therefore, there is a lot of pressure on them for which patients are waiting to get the facility.

Asked as to why the state did not procure such machines in advance, Prof Mohanty said there was the least use of such ECMO machines in the state before the onset of the second wave of the COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the Odisha government is planning to airlift Director of Vigilance and senior IPS officer Debasish Panigrahi to a Kolkata hospital for ECMO support, sources said. PTI AAM MM MM

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