“We Really Can’t Save Many More:” Israel Has 52 Patients On ECMO Machines

Illustrative. Medical staff operate an ECMO machine at Shaare Tzedek Medical Center in Jerusalem.

The number of patients in Israel attached to ECMO machines has now climbed to a record-breaking 52, 11 more than last week, according to the Israeli Medical Association.

It is a serious strain on Israel’s health system, as each machine requires two nurses, a doctor, and a dedicated technologist to operate.

Yigal Kassif, the head of ECMO services at Sheba, told Ynet that an absolute limit of 50 patients on ECMO machines was one of the government’s “blackest predictions at the start of the pandemic.”

“We really can’t save many more,” he said poignantly. “We very much hope and pray that we won’t become like Italy or New York during the first wave.”

Kassif said that that there are 45 coronavirus patients on ECMO machines as well as seven patients with different illnesses.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)