UAB uses ECMO in novel ways to save carbon monoxide, flu victims

As a last-ditch effort, UAB doctors used a portable heart/lung bypass machine originally developed for heart surgery to save a young mother dying from carbon monoxide poisoning. Enrique Diaz, M.D., and his team in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine also have used ECMO — extra corporeal membrane oxygenation — to treat nearly 20 patients with severe influenza this winter. He says it is now an option for patients with severe lung injury or heart issues such as cardiogenic shock.