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Piedmont a Major Contributor to International Study on Care of Patients Critically Ill with COVID-19

Atlanta, Ga. (June 28, 2021) – Piedmont Healthcare is the number one site with completed data in the international ECMOCARD study, a large trial examining the effects of ventilation and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) in the critical care setting on patients suffering from the combination of COVID-19 and Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS).

ECMO is a medical device that is used to support patients whose heart and lungs require additional assistance to function, similar to putting a patient on bypass during open heart surgery.

“From the very start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we recognized the need to participate in clinical research regarding treatment,” said Peter Barrett, M.D., director of Piedmont’s ECMO program and medical director of the Cardiac Critical Care Units. “We will have several publications coming out this year reporting on management of COVID-19, and will continue to learn all we can to best serve the citizens of Georgia.”

Dr. Barrett and David Dean, M.D., surgical director for heart transplant and mechanical circulatory support, serve as Piedmont’s principal investigators for the study, which is based out of Piedmont Atlanta Hospital. The study began in Australia and has come to encompass more than 300 sites in nearly 50 countries. It is scheduled to be completed by Dec. 31.

The primary outcome measure of the study is in-hospital mortality. Secondary measures include death on ECMO, stroke, blood stream infection, lung complications involving surgical treatment, blood transfusion, acute kidney injury, length of hospital stay and death after hospital discharge.

“It is humbling to be part of this clinical trial, which brings thought-leaders from around the world together to learn what works – and what doesn’t work – for the sickest COVID patients,” said Dr. Dean. “This real-time study is driving best practice treatment approaches during the pandemic and is helping more people get the most optimized care, right when they need it most. The data collected as part of this study will help to improve care and outcomes for patients with COVID-19 around the world.”

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