Global Health & Medicine 2020;2(2):127-130.

Nursing care for patients with COVID-19 on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) support

Umeda A, Sugiki Y


In Japan, four medical facilities including our own - the National Center for Global health and Medicine (NCGM) - have been designated for the treatment of specified infectious diseases by the Minister of Health, Labour, and Welfare. Here, we report our nursing care for patients with severe COVID-19 on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) support. In addition to infection control measures in the form of an N95 mask, a water-repellent isolation gown, a cap, a shielded mask on top of the N95, and double-layered gloves, nurses were required to wear onepiece suits (DuPont Tyvek®) and use powered air-purifying respirators (PAPRs). While closed system catheters are normally changed once a day to limit aerosol exposure, they are now changed once every 4 days. Nursing care included equipment checks, monitoring of hemodynamics and respiratory status, management of anticoagulants, observation of the patient’s general condition, management of sedatives and analgesics, prevention of medical device-related pressure ulcers and bedsores, and maintenance of hygiene. Fundamentally sound nursing remains the best practice for patient treatment and management. During nursing care for patients with COVID-19 on ECMO, infection control measures should be faithfully and properly followed.

KEYWORDS: COVID-19, ECMO, nursing care, personal protective equipment

DOI: 10.35772/ghm.2020.01018

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