…all acute injury to the heart is reversible.
In this podcast episode, Zack interviews Demetris Yannopoulos from the University of Minnesota. Demetris has organized Minneapolis into arguably the most impressive ECPR city in the world. He has changed the mindset of out of hospital refractory ventricular fibrillation care from “stay and play”, the philosophy that medics should stay at the scene and provide care until ROSC (return of spontaneous circulation) or until the patient is pronounced dead. In Minneapolis, a patient who who arrests in Yannopoulos’ catchment area gets three shocks. If the patient does not get ROSC then they are immediately transported to the University of Minnesota using LUCAS mechanical chest compression device. The patient bypasses the emergency department and goes directly to the cath lab. In the cath lab, Demetris, or one of his partners, cannulates and initiates ECMO with an average time of 6 minutes!!! In his first 90 patients he has had a 45% neurologically intact survivorship. Patients are getting to the cath lab on average 60 minutes after their arrest. In this cohort, you would expect a less than 1% survival. We can use Dr. Yannopoulos’ model to expand the use of ECPR in many other systems. The real question is do we have champions like Demetris who will rise to the calling!