LivaNova helps fill demand for ECMO devices to address COVID-19 in the US

Following the announcement that LivaNova is modifying product indications for some of its cardiopulmonary devices to include extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) therapy greater than six hours to treat COVID-19 patients;

Azadeh Laffafian, Medical Device Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view:

“According to GlobalData, the need for ECMO has grown in the US with the surge of COVID-19 patients. In early April, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) relaxed some of the regulations on ECMO and cardiopulmonary bypass devices during the pandemic to help expand the availability of these devices to treat COVID-19 patients with ECMO therapy.

“ECMO therapy is an important tool in the fight against COVID-19 and LivaNova’s announcement that several of its cardiopulmonary products are now permitted by the FDA to provide ECMO therapy beyond six hours is welcomed news.

“According to GlobalData, in addition to equipment, another factor that limits the use of ECMO treatment is the availability of highly trained healthcare professionals with prior ECMO experience. The Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO) recommends against the opening of new ECMO centres for the treatment of COVID-19 patients as immense hospital resources and an experienced team are required. Currently only patients who are presumed to have the greatest chance of receiving benefit are undergoing ECMO therapy.”

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