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A 25-year-old new first-time dad was admitted to NCH North campus in status asthmaticus (severe asthma). He was attended to overnight by Dr Howard Cohen and cared for by Melissa Kimbrough (respiratory therapist), Kelly Carpenter (recent NCH Critical Care Nursing Fellowship grad) and the 2nd floor ICU staff. When it looked like standard ventilator support was not going to be enough to keep him alive, he called Dr. Brian Solomon and asked him to place the patient on veno-venous ECMO (heart-lung machine) support. It was felt that the patient was too critically ill to safely transport to the Downtown hospital. Dr. Solomon, Patrick Davis (perfusion), Debbie Hamby-Negron (certified surgical technician), and Pam Alexander (cardiac OR nurse) loaded, into one of their cars, the ECMO machine and all the supplies necessary to place a patient on ECMO. We don’t provide cardiac surgical services at the North Hospital, and this was most extraordinary.
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