San Jose, CA — Regional Medical Center of San Jose is the first hospital in San Jose to use ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation), a membrane oxygenation therapy to support respiratory and/or cardiac function for patients who are unlikely to survive conventional mechanical ventilation.

CARDIOHELP is a new portable lifesaving technology that can replace or support a patient's circulation and respiration virtually anywhere.

"If a person stops breathing or their heart stops altogether, due to such things as a heart attack, near drowning or a lung infection, the body begins to shut down," says Sang Lee, MD, Regional's Cardio Thoracic Surgeon. "Permanent organ damage or even death is a certain consequence if the body is not stabilized. By quickly connecting these patients to a mechanical life support system, clinicians can gain valuable time that could save the patient's life."

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, with an estimated 17.5 million deaths each year, representing 30 percent of all global deaths. Many of these individuals experience cardiogenic shock, a frequent consequence of a heart attack, because vital organs are not adequately supplied with oxygen. Other conditions that can lead to failure of the heart and/or lungs include acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), severe influenza (e.g., H1N1), septic shock and pulmonary embolism. Patients with serious cardiac or pulmonary compromise require immediate stabilization and transfer.

"The need for immediate, mobile, compact, life-sustaining resuscitation occurs on a daily basis, both in and outside of the hospital," adds Dr. Lee. "With the suitcase-sized CARDIOHELP System, we can provide clinicians and rapid response teams with a new option for patients who need cardiac and/or respiratory support while being transported."

CARDIOHELP is the first support system available for both ground and air transportation. Weighing approximately 22 pounds, it is light enough to be carried by one person and compact enough to be transported in a helicopter or ambulance.

"At Regional, we are continually adopting the most technologically sophisticated devices and lifesaving innovations to benefit our patients," said Mike Johnson, President and CEO.

"By using this therapy, we are joining an elite group of medical centers across the country that have adopted this first-in-class cardiopulmonary support system to help patients and save lives."

About Regional Medical Center of San Jose

Regional Medical Center of San Jose is a Level II Trauma Center staffed by in-house specialists 24/7/365. The hospital provides a host of technologically-advanced services including Cardiovascular, Neuro, Orthopedic and General Surgery, Interventional Pulmonology, along with multi-organ Cancer Care, and services for Women and Children. Regional holds Joint Commission advanced certification as a Comprehensive Stroke Center and a Get with the Guidelines - Stroke Gold Plus Performance Achievement Award from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. It is a certified Chest Pain Center, Certified Atrial Fibrillation Program, county-designated STEMI (heart attack) receiving center, and an ACoS accredited Community Cancer Center. Regional is a recipient of Healthgrades 2015 Distinguished Hospital Award for Clinical Excellence. It is recognized by the Joint Commission as a 2011, 2012, 2013 Top Performing Hospital on Key Quality Measures™. The hospital has also been recognized by U.S. News and World Report and Healthgrades as a top performing hospital, and is home to the San Jose Institute for Robotic Surgery. For more information, visit:

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