We’re redefining death, to the point that somebody we thought for sure was dead two or three years ago, well, they’re not dead anymore - Jose Garcia MD
image by: Hisbullah Amin
One night, in February, a group of intensive-care-unit doctors and I sat down with Marc Gopin to talk about his sister. For nearly a week, after a bad case of the flu, Reissa Leigh had been dependent on a respirator. Her lungs had been badly damaged, her oxygen level was dangerously low. Gopin steeled himself to hear us say that we had done everything: his sister was going to die.
Instead, we offered one more option: a bypass machine for a process called Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation ECMO that would draw blood out of his sister’s body through a large catheter, add oxygen and remove carbon dioxide, and then return the blood back to her.