The Hemolung Respiratory Assist System is a new technology in the respiratory field, and is solving some of the long standing issues associated with mechanical ventilation and ECMO in critically ill patients. The technology behind this device is similar to how a dialysis machine functions, and it is used to provide extracorporeal CO2 removal in a minimally invasive way. The way this machine works is similar to ECMO, however, the rate of blood flow and the catheter used in this device are both smaller and it runs on a single circuit. Unlike traditional ECMO this device produces effective CO2 removal through active mixing of gases, meaning that a smaller surface area of membrane and blood flow are required to remove the CO2 from the body. Furthermore, fibers in the machine allow oxygen gas to be drawn through the machine via a pump that facilitates CO2 exchange and oxygen diffusion into the blood. Also unlike the traditional ECMO the Hemolung is the first device to be created specifically for CO2 removal, and it allows for patient ambulation!
Below I have posted an awesome website for care providers and patients about respiratory management! This website is the American Association of Respiratory Care. This website has a wide variety of resources about all different types of respiratory issues. Many of the resources are patient friendly, which might be a good resource for patient education! https://www.aarc.org/education/
In reflecting on my conversation with one of my best friends I was surprised to find that she knew about the questions I posed concerning heart attacks. In response to cardiopulmonary arrest she quickly explained to me what the cardio and arrest part meant, however, she was not able to link to back to the pulmonary component of the question. It was interesting to me how someone who I consider to be very well read and intelligent could not know something that we as health care professionals think of as second nature. Moreover, she was able to explain CPR and what an MI was to me with relative ease. When I asked her where she learned that information she laughed and said I explained it to her back when I stared nursing school. We discussed how she felt her knowledge stacked up to the knowledge other people in the general public had concerning CPR and cardiac arrests and she made the good point that unless you seek out the information, these topics are not generally talked about in school, jobs etc. Overall, I think this conversation was enriching for both of us and we came to the conclusion that people should be required to take an CPR/AED class when they get their drivers licences to improve common knowledge and MI survival rates.
In looking at my daily diet and analyzing my consumption of fats, proteins and carbs I have been able to conclude that on a normal day (not including days I go out for unplanned dinners, drinks etc) I am able to comply with the heart healthy diet prescribed to many cardiac patients. Because I already have an app installed on my phone that not only tracks how much protein, fat and carbs I consume, but also breaks down each item I consume to give me a detailed list of nutrients I was able to look at my monthly intake and found that only on 4 days in the last month would I have been out of compliance with the heart healthy diet. Because I cook most of my own meals and do not eat out often I have no problem staying within the 2300 mg limit for salt intake suggested by this diet plan. Also, because I do not eat meat or dairy my fat consumption on most days was within the suggested parameters. According to Mayo Clinic people on the heart healthy diet are to eat no more than 7-10% saturated fats per day, and suggest ensuring fats that are consumed be high in monounsaturated/polyunsaturated fats. In analyzing my diet I found that most of the fat I take in is from avocado and peanut butter (good fats) and that my largest source of bad fat comes from eating chocolate 🙂
Given that my diet is already very restricted due to my allergies and food preferences, coupled with my intense interest in nutrition I feel that I would easily be able to make the dietary changes required to comply with a heart healthy diet. I do however, also see the challenges patients face while trying to make this transition, especially in individuals who eat out a lot, or who are not as familiar and conscientious about what they eat day to day.