All of Israel’s COVID patients currently attached to ECMO machines are under age 60 and unvaccinated, Yediot Achranot reported.
Additionally, all coronavirus patients who died after being attached to an ECMO machine during the current fourth COVID wave were unvaccinated, according to data from the Israeli ECMO Society.
Since the beginning of the fourth wave, 31 coronavirus patients have been attached to ECMO machines, five of whom died – all unvaccinated patients under the age of 60.
The most recent patients to be attached to ECMO machines are a 48-year-old man and a 51-year-old woman – both unvaccinated – at the Wolfson Medical Center in Holon.
“The main thing we’re seeing from this data is the fact that the patients who aren’t vaccinated are the worst cases,” said Dr. Yigal Kassif, who heads the Israeli ECMO Association.
“These patients in the 40 to 60 age group, who are treated with the ECMO machines – die, while older patients including some with underlying conditions who had been vaccinated – survive.”
“Anyone who has never seen a seriously ill virus patient on the machine can’t understand the horror. These are people who are tragically unable even to bid their families farewell in their final days.”
Dr. Arie Soroksky, director of the ICU at Holon’s Wolfson Medical Center, said: “All of the patients we placed on ECMOs haven’t been vaccinated.”
“The unvaccinated, especially young people, are especially vulnerable to serious illness. If a patient lacks oxygen, we give him oxygen. When that’s not enough, we put him on a ventilator. In extreme cases, even the ventilator can’t save the patient…in these cases, we hook them up to an ECMO. Their family members then often rush to get vaccinated,” he wryly concluded.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)