Baptist Doctor Uses ECMO to Save Life of Mom-To-Be

May 6 • 2016

Lashondia Palmer was under the care of a Baptist infectious disease physician when she fell extremely ill from complications related to the flu. At 41 years old and pregnant, her illness continued to worsen, putting her in critical condition. Recognizing that Lashondia’s life was in jeopardy, her physician reached out to a Baptist cardiovascular surgeon for help.

Thanks to remarkable technology called extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, or ECMO, Lashondia survived. ECMO provides cardiac and respiratory support to patients whose heart and lungs are not able to provide enough oxygen to the body for survival. It does this by removing blood from the body while also artificially removing carbon dioxide. It then oxygenates the red blood cells to make up for the missing gas exchange.

For a long time, this method was only used on children. However, more adults with cardiac or respiratory failure are being treated with this life-saving technique. Once improvements to the patient’s health are seen, the ECMO is removed.

Thanks to quick thinking, medical technology, and Lashondia’s trust in her doctors, she is able to celebrate today. We wish her, and all other moms, a happy Mother’s Day.