ECMO becomes crucial therapy in battle against COVID-19 in Europe

Xenios consoles as lifesavers

As the coronavirus spreads and infections with COVID-19 further increase throughout Europe, ECMO therapy turns out to be a necessary option for patients with severe courses.

Xenios AG, a subsidiary of Fresenius Medical Care, provides ECMO consoles that can be used for the treatment of patients who develop severe pneumonia and ARDS with lung failure which also might result from infection with the coronavirus.

“For critically ill COVID-19 patients with acute lung failure and refractory hypoxemia despite use of all standard therapy related measures, our treatment often remains the last therapeutic option and in the best case a lifesaver for these patients.” confirms Jürgen Böhm, CMO of Xenios.

Put simple, Xenios’ ECMO therapy bypasses the function of the lungs. The patient’s blood is freed from carbon dioxide outside the body and enriched with oxygen. The lungs are thus given time to heal. Because of the increase of critically ill COVID-19 patients, more physicians will opt for ECMO therapy. As a result, Xenios is seeing a significantly higher demand for ECMO devices and patient kits needed for treatment. As a consequence, the company has increased production of ECMO consoles significantly to meet the rising need.

In many European countries and especially the most seriously affected ones like Italy, Spain and France, Xenios’ ECMO devices are already in use in the battle against COVID-19. But also outside of Europe, the lifesaving devices are urgently needed. Already in late February, China’s most affected region Wuhan received a delivery of ECMO consoles and patient kits from Xenios to combat the COVID-19 infections.

“We have put many measures in place to maximize the utilization of our capacity to manufacture ECMO devices as well as patient kits. Our biggest challenge right now is the availability of specific components for our products.” affirms Andreas Terpin, CEO of Xenios and adds, “We are aware of the huge responsibility for patient lives which comes with the breadth of our regulatory approvals, for instance with the recently granted FDA approval”.

Xenios not only has increased its production, but also the intensity of training to ensure the safe and ease use of the devices. Due to the protective measures required or recommended by the authorities, the company breaks new ground here by carrying out the training via video transmission – for the best possible outcome for patients.