Tuesday, March, 28,2023

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Odisha CM inaugurates eastern India's largest ECMO facility

Cuttack: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday inaugurated eastern India's largest ECMO facility in Cuttack for providing free treatment to critically ill COVID-19 patients.

The facility, having nine ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) machines, was set up at the SCB Medical and College Hospital.

"The patients of Odisha now need not be airlifted to other states for the ECMO treatment," Patnaik said, launching the facility as the state readies to fight the possible third wave of the pandemic.

"Though it is a costly treatment, the people of Odisha will get the service free of cost. The state government will bear all the expenses," he said.

Patnaik said the ECMO facility in Cuttack is the largest such facility in eastern India as nowhere nine ECMO machines are available in one place.

"The second wave of the pandemic was very much painful. Even as the lockdown restrictions have been relaxed, the pandemic is not yet over. We have to remain more cautious for the impending third wave," he said.

In a video message, Patnaik said health experts have predicted that more children will be infected in the possible third wave.

"To protect our children, we need to strictly follow the COVID-19 norms. I appeal to people to wear masks, maintain a proper hand hygiene routine and practice social distancing. Stay safe and keep children protected," he said.

Even as the new cases are declining, the number of infections among those below 18 years is rising in Odisha, officials said, adding that the rate of infection among children and adolescents is around 13 per cent.

Law Minister Pratap Jena said the manpower required for the operation of the ECMO machines were trained in Kolkata in batches and more people will also learn the technique from them.

A number of critically ill COVID patients require ECMO treatment post-recovery and earlier, the government used to airlift such patients either to Hyderabad or Kolkata, Jena said.

The nine ECMO machines will be very helpful for the people of the state, he said.

Hospital sources said a large unit, housing six ECMO machines, will be made available for COVID patients, while another small unit having three machines will be available for other patients. PTI

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