OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A new, one-of-a-kind ambulance will hit metro streets on Monday, EMSA officials announced.
On Monday, EMSA and INTEGRIS Health will unveil the specialty care transport ambulance known as ECMO 1.
INTEGRIS’ ECMO program uses extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, commonly abbreviated as ECMO, as an advanced lifesaving therapy.
It provides support to patients whose heart and/or lungs are so severely diseased or damaged that they can no longer serve their function; possibly after a heart attack, cardiac surgery, pulmonary embolism, near drowning or lung-related issues such as flu or pneumonia.
The goal is to allow the heart or lungs to rest and recover while the machine does the work. When the heart or the lungs have healed and can work on their own, the lifesaving support of the ECMO artificial heart/lung machine is weaned and then removed.
EMSA’s ECMO unit specifications were designed in collaboration with the INTEGRIS Health ECMO Team. The unit can safely transport up to five ECMO team members in addition to the patient during long-distance transports. The ambulance also has the capacity to carry more oxygen and other medical gasses that are needed for ECMO patients.
When not assigned to ECMO transports, the unit will serve as one of EMSA’s bariatric ambulances for the Oklahoma City area.