Application of ECMO technology at Acibadem Sistina Hospital saved the life of a 45-year-old Covid-19 patient. Astrit Selimay was admitted in an extremely serious condition and quite severe Covid-pneumonia. Hence he was put on a ventilator, and following the concilium opinion by the medical team of “Acibadem Sistina” and a specialist in infective diseases from the General City Hospital “8 Septemvri”, the patient was connected to ECMO machine, which in fact proved crucial for his survival. Astrit is the first patient in Macedonia cured of Covid-19 by applying this technology.

An experienced team of doctors from Acibadem Sistina Hospital – Dr. Mitko Karagjozov, head of the Thoracic and Vascular Surgery Department, Prof. Dr. Aleksandar Nikolikj, head of the Cardiac Surgery Department, Dr. Dimche Slavevski, head of the Cardiac Surgery Anesthesia Unit, Dr. Nikola Shikov, head of the General Intensive Care Unit, Dr. Haralambos Sidiropoulos, specialist in infectious diseases as well as Dr. Patricia Kalamaras, a specialist in infectious diseases from GCH “8 Septemvri” took care of his health.

AcibademSistina EKMO pacient

“The ECMO technology, available at Acibadem Sistina Hospital, was applied for the first time in a Covid-19 patient. The ECMO machine allowed the patient to survive, the lung condition improved and afterwards the ECMO machine was switched off so the patient breathed with a help of a ventilator. Once the condition improved as a result of the ventilator and the parameters were within normal ranges, the ventilator was switched off and the patient returned to a normal life. Fortunately, to our great joy, now he leaves the hospital. We are proud that ‘Acibadem Sistina’ once again prove to be a great hospital with state-of-the-art technology and medicine, and that it can manage the most serious complications caused by Covid-19”, said Dr. Mitko Karagjozov, the head of the  Thoracic and Vascular Surgery Department at ‘Acibadem Sistina’.

Dr. Dimche Slavevski, head of the Cardiac Surgery Anesthesia Unit, considers the ECMO machine as the last option and chance for life to critically ill Covid-19 patients.

“In case when the ventilator can no longer provide sufficient oxygenation to the patient, remains only the ECMO machine, which is actually a substitute for the lungs. Therefore, at a stage when the ventilator could no longer provide adequate oxygenation to the patient, the medical consilium decided to give him a chance with the ECMO machine, i.e. veno-venous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, replacing the lung function”, said Dr. Slavevski.

AcibademSistina EKMO pacient

The ECMO machine is a new hope in the treatment of critically ill patients with Covid-19, says Patricija Kalamaras, an infectious diseases specialist from the GCH “8 Septemvri”. She believes that they have achieved great success in the management and treatment of coronavirus together with the Acibadem Sistina Hospital team.

Acibadem Sistina Hospital is the first hospital in the Balkans to use ECMO machine for COVID-19 patient treatment. Without ECMO technology, the patient would not have survived. It is my opinion that from now on this machine will be used in the treatment of other patients with severe complications as well. The ECMO machine is the only machine that can give new life to patients”, says Dr. Kalamaras.

AcibademSistina EKMO pacient

After 25 days of fighting for his life, 45-year-old Astrit finally goes home to his family with a smile on his face. He had no previous illnesses, his coronavirus condition worsened very quickly, and Acibadem Sistina’s doctors saved his life.

“I came on August 10 with a few symptoms. I thank God, the doctors and all the staff for the complete treatment here, and I want to express my deep gratitude to Dr. Nikola Shikov, who took care of me the most. I am overjoyed to be back home with my family after 25 days. I haven’t had any other diseases. I haven’t been ill before”, said the 45-year-old patient.

The fight for Astrit’s life lasted for almost a month. Thanks to ECMO technology and experienced doctors from Acibadem Sistina, he is now in good health.

“He will need a period of rehabilitation, but all the tests show that he is in good condition”, says Nikola Shikov, a specialist in anesthesiology and intensive care.

AcibademSistina EKMO pacient

Acibadem Sistina Hospital offers the best healthcare for the treatment of Covid-19 patients, providing maximum safety in a specially isolated area of the hospital intended only for treatment of patients diagnosed with Covid-19.