Thanks to the philanthropic support of the Mark and Dorothy Smith Family Foundation, Marian Regional Medical Center has secured the Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation medical technology for critically ill COVID-19 patients and others experiencing life-threatening conditions.
The Santa Maria hospital’s ECMO is now being used to treat patients.
Marian, which is part of Dignity Health, is the only hospital between the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles with this life-saving equipment, which mitigates the need to travel outside of the area for care.
The ECMO medical equipment is similar to the heart-lung bypass machine used in open-heart surgery, as it pumps and oxygenates a patient’s blood outside the body, allowing the heart and lungs to rest.
When patients receive ECMO treatment, blood flows through tubing to an artificial lung in the machine that adds oxygen and takes out carbon dioxide.
Then the blood is warmed to body temperature and pumped back into the body.
According to a news release, Marian’s advanced cardiac program along with in-house critical care specialists are essential for providing this service.
Inspired by Santa Maria COVID-19 survivors Louis and Melissa Meza, the Mark and Dorothy Smith Family Foundation directors recognized that the region’s most critically ill COVID-19 patients in need of ECMO treatment were being transferred out of the area to receive this life-saving procedure.
Ms. Meza experienced severe complications due to COVID-19, which required various treatments and an emergency transfer to a Santa Monica hospital to receive the life-saving ECMO treatment. As such, the Mark and Dorothy Smith Family Foundation made a significant donation in honor of Louis and Melissa Meza to fund the acquisition of Marian’s ECMO medical technology.
For more information, go to www.dignityhealth.org/central-coast/locations/marianregional.