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Engineering | School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering

Fifty years ago, Arizona State University researchers contributed to the development of medical technology that is now helping a small but growing number of patients recover from COVID-19.

The recovery of a 53-year-old Phoenix man who had been placed in a medically induced coma due to the coronavirus is one example of the benefits of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, or ECMO, treatment.

The Arizona Republic, ABC15 News in Phoenix, The Hill, MedPage Today and other news outlets quoted physicians who attributed the man’s recuperation to ECMO treatment — recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration for COVID-19 patients.

ECMO technology enables temporary replacement of heart and lung function by pumping blood outside a patient’s body, oxygenating the blood and removing carbon dioxide waste, and then returning it to the patient’s body.

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