NHS: ECMO Machines — Question

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:58 pm on 22nd April 2013.

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Photo of Earl Howe Earl Howe The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health 2:58 pm, 22nd April 2013

My Lords, there is, I understand, no intervention capable of restoring heart function some hours after a heart attack. The only exception is not applicable to heart attacks but to people who have had circulatory arrest due to hypothermia-for example, people who have been buried in avalanches or immersed in very cold water. That area is currently being researched. It is only in a very limited number of circumstances that ECMO support can improve a patient's chances of survival following cardiac arrest-usually in patients who suffer in-hospital cardiac arrest following surgery.