Could this blood filter not yet FDA approved save COVID-19 patients?

Posted at 5:29 AM, May 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-22 08:01:51-04

MILWAUKEE — TMJ4 News is committed to your families health and safety through this pandemic. That is why we created the series Rebound Milwaukee.

Some patient’s lives have been save from an experimental treatment at Froedtert and The Medical College of Wisconsin.

Cardiothoracic surgeon Dr. Lucian Durham has seen patient’s bodies taken over by the virus, to the point they go into multiple organ failure. He adds, “You can see where it becomes a spiral and people just die from it.”

To combat COVID-19 he is using a blood filter called CytoSorb, which is allowed to be used on our sickest patients through the FDA’s emergency use authorization. Specifically those on heart and lung bypass machines. The device filters molecules that cause inflammation out of your blood.

Dr. Durham explained, “It’s not much bigger than the filter on your refrigerator, but its got the surface area of a soccer field. It's got these micro beads in it and what they do is they absorb and bind the inflammatory mediators.”

This should stop the organs from going into irreversible failure. Dr. Durham says it has worked on all three patients he has treated, “We saw a difference in the first 12 hours. The blood pressures were stabilizing, and organ function improved. That correlated with the lab values that were going up and started going down.”

Dr. Durham says this is not a cure, but a way to stop the symptoms.

Here is your rebound rundown:

  • CytoSorb is an experimental blood filter being used on the sickest COVID-19 patients.
  • It has helped three Southeast Wisconsin patients recover from coronavirus.
  • CytoSorb still needs FDA approval for more widespread usage.

CystoSorb has been used for several years on patients in Europe, primarily for dialysis patients. Click here to learn more.

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