As new and experimental treatments for COVID-19 are on the horizon, the outcomes have been varied. Doctors at HonorHealth in Phoenix tried one of these new treatments, and there's good news. An Arizona man was in an induced coma for 11 days, suffering from the symptoms of COVID-19, and he just woke up!
"On day 11, he woke up, became immediately responsive, and has been FaceTiming with his family while recovering in the ICU," HonorHealth's press release said.
Dr. Riley and Dr. Anselmo Garcia, the co-directors of this new program, told AZ Family that this treatment, known as the ECMO machine, removes blood from the body, pumps it with oxygen, and then releases the blood back to give the heart and lungs a hand.
The patient, Enes Dedic, is a 53-year-old man who has high blood pressure and pre-diabetes, according to HonorHealth's press release.
AZ Family also reported that Dedic had recently traveled to Bosnia for his mother's funeral. He then returned, showing mild symptoms, which escalated to difficulty breathing.
After making it to the emergency room, he tested positive for COVID-19 and was put on a ventilator.
Ten days after being put on the ECMO machine, Dr. Garcia wrote, "On day 11, he did wake up. Thankfully that was the case."
BREAKING: First Arizona #COVID19 patient treated with ECMO therapy survives. He's also one of the first in the worl… https://t.co/DNJMJAfMw7— HonorHealth (@HonorHealth)1586879206.0
The ECMO treatment is currently being used all over the world, including North America, Europe, Latin America, and the Asian Pacific, as documented by the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization.
Dr. Gargia wrote in the press release that other medical centers across the United States are reaching out and "seeking advice on what [they] have done."
Dedic is the first person in the country who has survived from this treatment and only one of 15 in the world listed on the registry website. Currently, only 32% of patients have been discharged alive using this form of treatment.
Medical professionals around the world are working diligently to learn more about the treatments for COVID-19 to better care for their patients.*
Dr. Riley is "thankful to see our patient survive, but also to assist by sharing our processes and protocols."
He hopes that this "out-of-the-box approach to care" can "lead to more survivors."
*This article has been updated.