UT Health East Texas plans to launch regions first ECMO program

TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Planning is underway for UT Health East Texas to offer the regions first of a treatment for patients with severe heart and lung failure.

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UT Health East Texas announced on Tuesday that they are planning on offering an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) program, for patients experiencing severe heart or lung failure. UT Health East Texas said that ECMO is used for critically ill patients to alleviate the stress on their vital organs, currently East Texas patients that require ECMO get transferred to Dallas or Houston.

“This treatment will allow patients to receive the highest level of cardiac and pulmonary supportive care locally, rather than being transferred to a facility far from home to receive this cutting-edge therapy,” Dr. Michael Lamanteer, UT Health East Texas chief medical officer said.

Lamanteer said that bringing ECMO technology to East Texas requires a a lot of effort from the hospital, including specialized equipment, staff training and multidisciplinary physician involvement.

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“This modality is an advanced level of cardiac and pulmonary treatment that is resource intensive and has been demonstrated to save lives. It also will present a unique teaching opportunity for our medical students, residents and critical care fellows,” Lamanteer said. “ECMO will provide a strong foundation for further development of our pulmonary and cardiology services.”

Dr. Matt Leveno the ICU Medical Director and Chief of Critical Care Medicine shared that they are focused on bringing ECMO to UT Health in Tyler in the second or third quarter of 2024.

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