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Innovative technology helps viral pneumonia patients in Belarus

Society 10.11.2017 | 19:36
Kim Yong Ho near an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation machine
Kim Yong Ho near an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation machine

MINSK, 10 November (BelTA) – An innovative technology is being deployed in Belarus to help patients suffering from bad cases of viral pneumonia, BelTA learned from Marianna Gurova, Head of Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Department No.5 at the National Research Center for Organ and Tissue Transplantation, which operates at premises of Minsk City Clinical Hospital No.9.

Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation equipment can temporarily substitute the lost functions of the lungs or the heart depending on what the patient suffers from. The equipment can be used as an artificial lung in cases of respiratory distress. The machine acts exactly the way the natural organ does — it feeds oxygen into the blood stream and removes carbon dioxide.

Marianna Gurova

The new equipment has been acquired at the expense of South Korea. Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Korea to Belarus Kim Yong Ho told media that this assistance had been granted on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Belarus and South Korea.

Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation was initially used in limited areas of healthcare, such as cardiological surgery. The world swine flu epidemic prompted faster adaptation of the technology for treating lung problems. Propelled by impressive results, the technology is now actively developing. Only the National Research Center for Cardiology and the National Research Center for Organ and Tissue Transplantation had access to one such machine in the past. Naturally its capabilities were insufficient. Thanks to Korean assistance Belarusian medics have been granted more capabilities.

The use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation is limited to specific indications such as difficult pneumonia, obstructive lung problems, and conditions aggravated by massive aspiration. Medics resort to extracorporeal membrane oxygenation when artificial lung ventilation is no good.

The national center for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation was opened at premises of Minsk City Clinical Hospital No.9 in August 2017. A number of patients have already been treated. Specialists of the center have arranged the first educational seminar for medics. There are plans to arrange regular master classes for general practitioners and pulmonologists.

Cooperation in healthcare between the Republic of Belarus and the Republic of Korea will grow larger. According to Kim Yong Ho, Belarus makes quality medications for treating cancer. Their quality is on par with Western Europe products and comes at a competitive price. Work is in progress to sell Belarusian cancer drugs to South Korea. The first few shipments will be delivered soon.

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