Mobile heart-lung machine for clinics in Southeast Bavaria

The Traunstein Clinic is getting new mobile heart-lung machines and a resuscitation vehicle. This means that in an emergency the vital heart-lung function can be bridged and valuable time can be gained for treatment.

The Eva Mayr-Stihl Foundation is funding the purchase of two new mobile devices for the ECMO center at the Traunstein Clinic with 320,000 euros. ECMO stands for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and functions as an artificial heart-lung replacement. "The therapy often represents the only chance of survival in the event of persistent cardiovascular arrest or severe lung failure. It not only protects the patient from death, but also from serious neurological sequelae," says Dr. Markus Barth, senior physician in cardiology and head helicopter physician Christoph 14. As part of the funding, a special resuscitation vehicle is to be acquired, because in such an emergency every second counts.

Most ECMO devices are only available at university hospitals or heart centers, as their use requires specialist knowledge. “The establishment of an ECMO team and the associated expertise began in 2011 at the Traunstein Clinic. Since then, two devices have been used successfully. Because the Kliniken Südostbayern are too far away from maximum care providers in an emergency, such as the ECMO Center Regensburg, which came to help by helicopter whenever possible before our own unit was set up. "Says Dr. Uwe Gretscher, CEO of Kliniken Südostbayern, on the special situation at the clinic. ECMO therapy can also save lives in the case of hypothermia - such as can occur in avalanche victims.

With the Covid-19 pandemic, the number of people to be treated with the most severe lung failure who had to rely on ECMO therapy as the last option rose again significantly. Dr. Markus Barth explains: “The two existing devices are often in long-term use for Covid-19 patients, which means that short-term, emergency care for cardiovascular arrest is no longer guaranteed. “With the support from the Eva Mayr-Stihl Foundation, the simultaneous operation of three ECMO places in the intensive care unit is ensured. We are also planning to set up a mobile station in a special emergency vehicle. We can then be on site very quickly in order to stabilize the circulation in the event of a cardiac arrest that does not respond to the usual resuscitation measures. "

In the south-east of Bavaria only the Traunstein Clinic has an ECMO center and a mobile team. “This investment in the stationary and mobile capacities of our clinic creates the opportunity here in rural areas to ensure rapid care for cardiopulmonary failure at university level. The Eva Mayr-Stihl Foundation has already done a lot of positive things for health care in the region with its commitment to its own Covid 19 rapid laboratory. For this enormous support from the two founders, Eva Mayr-Stihl and Robert Mayr, I can only say a heartfelt thank you," says District Administrator Siegfried Walch.

Robert Mayr, one of the founders of the Eva Mayr-Stihl Foundation, has a special connection to the region: “I was born over 80 years ago in the Traunstein Clinic. Since the foundation focuses its work on medicine, a commitment to this hospital is obvious - and is close to my heart. We have also found projects in the region for our other key areas of science & research and art & culture. For example, we support the Berchtesgaden National Park and the Holzknechtmuseum in Ruhpolding. "


Press release photographs
Meeting at the Governor's office in Traunstein
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Meeting at the Governor's office in Traunstein: (left to right) Regional governor Siegfried Walch, CEO of the Kliniken Südostbayern AG Dr. Uwe Gretscher, Board member of the Eva Mayr-Stihl Foundation Robert Mayr, Senior physician Cardiology and Pneumony at the Klinikum Traunstein and head helicopter physician Christoph 14 Dr. Markus Barth.
(c) Klinikum Traunstein