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Vikash Sharma

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  • The facility will be the largest unit in the eastern part of India and free treatments will be provided to critically ill patients.

Keeping in mind the necessity of technology to tackle demands of treatment of Covid-19 and other critical ailments, the Odisha Government on Friday launched a dedicated extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) unit at SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack.

This is first of its-kind facility in any government run hospital in Odisha. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurated 9 ECMO machines installed at the premier State-run hospital in the Millennium city.

The facility will be the largest unit in the eastern part of India and free treatments will be provided to critically ill patients, official sources said. Apart from SCB, ECMO facility is also available at AIIMS-Bhubaneswar and SUM Hospital in the State.

“Nine ECMO machines have been installed at SCB and it is the largest unit in eastern India. Critically ill patients no longer need to depend on other states to seek such advance treatment. The State government will bear the cost of the entire treatment,” said Patnaik.

According to Patnaik, highly qualified medical professionals have been appointed for the management of ECMO unit at SCB.

Earlier, a group of health experts undertook specialised training in Kolkata on operation and management of ECMO machines.

It is pertinent to mention here that several critically ill Covid-19 patients from Odisha had to be airlifted to other parts of the country to avail ECMO treatment during the second wave of Covid19. State Vigilance Director Debasis Panigrahi, who was infected with Covid-19, was airlifted to Kolkata for ECMO treatment. However, he passed away due to post-Covid complications.

On August 21, the All Indian Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Bhubaneswar announced to provide free ECMO support facility to the poor and ration card holders requiring critical treatment like those required for Covid-19 in the State. The ECMO facility was rolled out for patients at the premier medical institute on July 15, 2021.

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