• Jeremiah D Folia

DC Hospital Uses VR in LUNGS To Asses COVID-19 Patients

In a popular video posted by George Washington University Hospital in Washington, DC, Doctor Kieth Mortman gives a visual walk through of the damage Coronavirus causes in the lungs.

In a podcast posted on the hospital's website, Dr. Mortman explained what is seen in the video:

There is such a stark contrast between the virus-infected abnormal lung and the more healthy, adjacent lung tissue...and it’s such a contrast that you do not need an MD after your name to understand these images. This is something the general public can take a look at...the damage we’re seeing is not isolated to any one part of the lung. This is severe damage to both lungs diffusely.

He described that they received the patient on March 18th after he was transferred from another hospital. He was in need of more support than the ventilator could supply, so after surveying his lungs the hospital enacted a new procedure called "extracorporeal membrane oxygenation," or ECMO.

ECMO is a technique of oxygenating the blood by removing it from the body, adding oxygen into the blood artificially and then pumping it back into the blood stream. If the lungs cannot do the task any longer, this is the last effort to circulate healthy blood in a person - to give their body one last fighting chance against their ailment.

The doctor explained that the damage seen in the video, due to COVID-19, is going to be scarring. It is irreversible.

When that inflammation does not subside with time, then it becomes essentially scarring in the lungs, creating long-term damage

Listen to the full podcast here.

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