NZPA: Study provides clue to surviving swine flu

The NZPA reports on a study conducted by New Zealand and Australian doctors, which found that blood oxygenation was the key factor for people with swine flu who suffer respiratory failure.

The observational study focused on 68 patients with severe swine flu-associated respiratory distress.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“The observational study, carried out by New Zealand and Australian flu investigators between June 1 and August 31 this year, showed most patients who experienced respiratory failure after contracting swine flu survived if they were treated with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), a type of life support that adds oxygen to the blood.

“”These findings are important to our colleagues all over the world and should be used to facilitate health care planning and clinical management for these complex patients during the ongoing pandemic,” [Auckland City Hospital’s cardiothoracic intensive care specialist] Dr McGuinness said.

“The study was due to be published in the Journal of the American Medical Association on November 4, but will be published early online because of the importance of its findings for public health.”