Mike, Justin, and Dr. Eddy Fan

Precision Podcast: Episode 5 - ECMO

February 2, 2024

2 February, 2024



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Sneha Tailor

In the latest episode of the Precision Podcast, hosts Mike Longeway and Justin Smith discuss Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) with Dr. Eddy Fan, an Intensivist at University Health Network and the Medical Director of ECMO at Toronto General Hospital. Together, they explore the evolution of ECMO, its pivotal role during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the critical collaboration with Ornge's air and ground transport services.
Dr. Fan explained ECMO as an artificial heart lung device that provides support for very refractory or end stage heart and/or lung failure. He elaborates on the two configurations of ECMO:

  1. Veno-venous: connects to the heart and lungs in a series and provides only respiratory support.
  2. Venoarterial: connects to the heart and series by bypassing the heart and lungs and providing both heart and lung support.
Their conversation also examined how ECMO gained prominence during the H1N1 pandemic and its subsequent evolution during the COVID-19 crisis. Here, we gain Dr. Fan’s insights on the lessons learned and adaptations made.
The episode also looks at the integral role of critical care transport in the ECMO process, discussing the partnership with Toronto Paramedic Services and Ornge. The hosts and Dr. Fan discuss the partnership's role in expanding ECMO intervention, the lessons learned from ground and air transports, and the importance of regionalized ECMO services.
As the conversation unfolds, listeners gain a glimpse into the future of ECMO and critical care transport when it comes to clinical advancements, integration, and the geographical challenges faced in Ontario.
To listen to all other episodes and to subscribe to the Ornge Precision Podcast, click here.


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