The Coast News Group

Miracle machine for Tri-City first in North County 

OCEANSIDE — Tri-City Hospital Foundation has purchased and donated an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine to Tri-City Medical Center to allow its expert staff to save patients on the brink of death from pulmonary or cardiovascular failure. The ECMO machine is the first “miracle machine” in San Diego’s North County and provides state of the art technology to treat patients experiencing respiratory and cardiac failure.

ECMO is used in critical care situations, typically for acute respiratory distress, but most recently is a component in the battle against COVID-19 by allowing the heart and lungs to be by passed so that they can rest and heal without damaging other organs. When all treatment and life support options have been exhausted, ECMO gives patients another hope for recovery and sustained life.

“With advanced technologies in the hands of brilliant physicians, miracles can happen,” said Jennifer Paroly, president of Tri-City Hospital Foundation. “Thanks to our generous donors, we’re proud to be able to fund innovative technologies like the ECMO machine and help our healthcare experts continue saving lives and protecting families in our community.”

The advanced ECMO machine now provides critical life support by pumping blood outside of a patient’s body to the machine, removing carbon dioxide, oxygenating, and rewarming the blood, and then returning it to tissues in the body.

“Our nurses, respiratory therapists, technicians and doctors now have another treatment option for critically ill patients,” said Dr. Gene Ma, Chief Medical Officer at Tri-City Medical Center. “ECMO doesn’t just help people severely impacted by COVID-19. It helps any patient experiencing severe heart or lung issues.”

For more than 50 years, Tri-City Hospital Foundation has played an important role in promoting philanthropy and wellbeing in San Diego’s North County communities. With the support of generous donors, Tri-City Hospital Foundation has funded millions of dollars in programs, services, and capital needs for Tri-City Medical Center.

With a price tag of $152,000, purchases like the ECMO machine would not be possible without the generosity of the hospital employees, community members and local businesses who donate to the foundation.

Two of the recent advanced technologies Tri-City Hospital Foundation has been able to acquire for Tri-City Medical Center include GlideScope, a device that allows easier and safer emergency airway management for coronavirus patients and physicians, and the Airvo System, a high-flow oxygen delivery system that delivers a much higher concentration of oxygen to patients in respiratory distress.