Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) continues to make advancements by providing the region with the nation’s most advanced equipment for patient care. PMC is one of the few hospitals in the state and the only one in the area to provide the Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) life support machine.

Patients who need ECMO have a severe, life-threatening illness that prevents their heart or lungs from working properly. The lifesaving machine replaces the function of the heart and lungs, and pumps blood from the patient’s body to an oxygenator that works as an artificial lung.

“The ECMO machine allows us to take blood from the patient’s body, then removes carbon dioxide, while oxygenating red blood cells. The ECMO machine then sends the blood back to the patient through a pump with the same force as the heart, replacing its function,” said PMC Director of Critical Care, Josh Damron.

When patients are so sick, oxygen levels drop, and organs do not get well. ECMO will allow the organs to rest while they heal. This technological advancement can be life-saving.

“PMC’s addition of ECMO makes our Intensive Care Unit (ICU) the most advanced an ICU can be, anywhere in the world,” said PMC Medical Director of Critical Care and Pulmonary Specialist, Ayorinde Medaiyese, MD. “ECMO is an exciting technology that allows us to offer an extra step in attempts to save a life.”

For more information about Critical Care services at PMC, please call 606-218-3500.