Critical patients discharged after treatment

Apr 26, 2020

Two COVID-9 patients who were in a critical condition are discharged from hospital on Wednesday.

Two COVID-19 patients who had been in a critical condition were discharged from hospital on Wednesday afternoon, when a total of 17 patients were released upon recovery.

They were the first two patients in Shanghai to leave hospital after receiving ECMO treatment (extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation), a method of supporting breathing and the heart.

Chen, 64, had been at the Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center in Jinshan District for 73 days. He underwent 43 days of ECMO treatment.

Tong, 62, was treated for an unprecedented 47 days.

"Those 47 days felt like having a wandering dream between life and death. I cannot even describe my gratitude toward those medical workers," he said.

Zhu Tongyu, director of Shanghai Public Health Clinical Center, a designated hospital for coronavirus patient, said that after both had recovered, currently there were no patients in a critical condition in the city.

"We have developed our Shanghai solution, led by our five hard-working medical teams, to guide clinical pratice," said Zhu.

The ECMO team at the public health center shared their experience in treating critical and severe cases in a live talk, noting that some of the knowledge was beyond what had been acquired in the past.

Chen, for example, suffered complications such as intestinal function and coagulation disorders during his ECMO treatment, with a higher-than-usual intubation frequency.

"We first spent over a week to maintain his intestinal functioning with integrated methods using TCM. We were lucky to gain financial support from the country, so that we could save their lives without worrying about the cost," said Gao Yuan, director of ICU department at Renji Hospital.

Qu Hongping, director of the ICU department at Ruijin Hospital, stressed the significance of supportive treatment which seeks to protect the organ functions of patients.

As for Tong, who was hospitalized on January 31, his condition deteriorated so quickly into hypoxemia that he was treated with ECMO six hours after showing acute respiratory symptoms on February 6.

"COVID-19 is a novel virus, the treatment of which need to be explored by combining our basic methods with the coronavirus' pathogen. Medics from different departments have also learned a lot from each other during the whole course," Qu said.