News | Coronavirus (COVID-19) | February 16, 2021

COVID Mother Reunited With Caregivers After Saving Her Live With ECMO

After giving birth she battled COVID-19 in the hospital for 152 days at HCA Houston Healthcare Medical Center and Houston Heart

February 16, 2021 — Crystal Gutierrez, a young mother who earlier in 2020 fell seriously ill from the effects of COVID-19 (SARS-CoV-2) after delivering her son Matthew, reunited Feb. 12 with the doctors and nurses of HCA Houston Healthcare Medical Center and Houston Heart who helped to save her life. 

Baby delivered from COVID mother who spent 152 days in the hospital, including on ECMO support.This was the first time the caregivers at HCA Houston Healthcare Medical Center and Houston Heart got to meet now eight-month-old Matthew who was born at sister hospital HCA Houston Healthcare Clear Lake. 

Immediately after delivering her son, Crystal was so critically ill from COVID that she was transferred to sister hospital HCA Houston Healthcare Medical Center for intensive extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) treatment. It provides prolonged cardiac and respiratory support to patients whose heart and lungs are unable to provide an adequate amount of gas exchange or perfusion to sustain life. 

COVID-19 patient gave birth and then spent 5 months in the hospital fighting the virus on ECMO.

Crystal Gutierrezfell seriously ill from the effects of COVID-19 after delivering her son Matthew in 2020 and spent 152 days in the hospital, including some of that time of ECMO support. She was reunited Feb. 12, 2021 with the doctors and nurses of HCA Houston Healthcare Medical Center and Houston Heart who helped to save her life. 

Under an FDA emergency use authorization in 2020, ECMO was allowed to be used in severely ill COVID patients who needed both restore and circulatory support. When ventilators are not enough, ECMO can be used in place of the lungs to oxygenate the blood. ECMO also helps unload the work of the heart, which often has compromised function due to COVID-19 infection. Severely ill COVID patients can go into multi-organ failure, and ECMO can help increase profusion into failing organs or even the heart to keep the patient's body going until it can recover. 

Watch a VIDEO of getting clapped out Gutierrez by the clinicians who cared for her during her 5-month stay at the hospital.

Keshava Rajagopal, M.D., Ph.D., is the Houston Heart physician who administered Crystal's ECMO treatment, which reversed her profound respiratory failure, the hospital said. 

Cardiovascular surgeon Keshava Rajagopal, M.D., Ph.D., is credited with saving COVID patient Crystal Gutierrez because of implementing ECMO support to reversed her profound respiratory failure. Pictured here with her family at Houston Heart..

Cardiovascular surgeon Keshava Rajagopal, M.D., Ph.D., is credited with saving COVID patient Crystal Gutierrez because of implementing ECMO support to reversed her profound respiratory failure. Pictured here with her family at Houston Heart.

Congratulations sign for COVID suvivor Crystal Gutierrez, who spent 152 days in the hospital, including on ECMO support at HCA Houston Heart.

 

Staff that helped support and save COVID-19 patient Crystal Gutierrez during a reunion at HCA Houston Healthcare Medical Center and Houston Heart.

Staff that helped support and save COVID-19 patient Crystal Gutierrez during a reunion at HCA Houston Healthcare Medical Center and Houston Heart.

 

Related ECMO Use in COVID-19 Content:

FDA Approves ECMO to Treat COVID-19 Patients

VIDEO: ECMO Support Effective in Sickest COVID-19 Patients — Interview with Ryan Barbaro, M.D.

ECMO Used to Treat Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome Case

ECMO Support Found Effective in Sickest of COVID-19 Patients

 

FDA Clears Abiomed Compact ECMO System for COVID-19 and Cardiogenic Shock Patients

LivaNova Modifies its ECMO Indications Beyond Six Hours to Address COVID-19

VIDEO: Multiple Cardiovascular Presentations of COVID-19 in New York — Interview with Justin Fried, M.D., explaining a case that used VV-ECMO abnd VAV-ECMO

New York City Physicians Note Multiple Cardiovascular Presentations of COVID-19

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