Conrad Soriano was close to death when he arrived by ambulance at Sharp Memorial Hospital’s emergency department. He was suffering from a severe allergic reaction triggered by steamed dumplings that he’d eaten at a nearby restaurant. Despite their best efforts, doctors could not open Soriano’s airways.
In a last-ditch effort to save his life, Dr. Andrew Eads, an emergency doctor, and Dr. Kevin Shaw, a critical care doctor — both affiliated with Sharp Memorial — tried a treatment called veno-venous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation — or VV-ECMO — which had never been attempted in an emergency situation.
The procedure involved cutting a hole into Soriano’s neck and snaking a large catheter through his veins into his heart — all performed at his bedside. The tube removed blood from Conrad’s body and filtered it through a machine, doing the work of the lungs.
Watch the video above to learn more about this incredible ER story.