JEDDAH: The King Abdullah Medical City (KAMC) in Makkah has reported an increase in the recovery rate among coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients, after using extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) technology on cases of acute respiratory failure.
The complex life support machine pumps blood outside the body and oxygenates it and removes carbon dioxide — allowing the heart and lungs to rest — and then pumps it back into the body.
The technology helped increase the recovery rate among patients who have not responded to the usual medical procedures, including artificial ventilation.
The device is installed through blood vessels by an integrated Saudi medical team of cardiac surgeons, cardiac perfusionists and intensive care consultants.
KAMC is one of the Ministry of Health’s approved ECMO centers, supervised by Saudi medical personnel covering Makkah and the western region of the Kingdom.
Meanwhile, the authorities in Jeddah have intensified their field tours to ensure the implementation of precautionary measures, with the reopening of recreational centers, parks, restaurants, and gyms after a partial closure.
In Dhahran, the Ministry of Health on Thursday inaugurated a new vaccination center at the Primary Health Care Center, which is open throughout the week from 8 a.m. until 12 a.m.
Meanwhile, the spokesman for the Ministry of Health, Dr. Mohammed Al-Abd Al-Aly, confirmed that the ministry is still noticing fluctuations in the number confirmed and critical cases, stressing that adherence to the precautionary measures will contribute to the fight against the virus.
During a press conference held on Thursday, Al-Aly urged everyone to register for the vaccine through the Sehhaty app.
“The Kingdom is very keen on choosing the best vaccines that are safe and effective,” he added. “There are currently around 500 vaccination operating in Saudi Arabia.”
Saudis and expats continue to receive their jabs of the coronavirus vaccine, with 1,773,153 people having been inoculated so far.
The ministry reported six more COVID-19-related deaths on Thursday. The death toll now stands at 6,551.
There were 390 new cases reported, meaning that 381,348 people have now contracted the disease. There are 2,947 remain active, 538 of them are in critical condition.
According to the ministry, 164 of the newly recorded cases were in Riyadh, 66 in the Eastern Province, 48 in Makkah, and 29 in Madinah.
In addition, 267 patients had recovered from the disease, bringing the total to 371,850 recoveries.
Saudi Arabia has so far conducted 14,175,803 PCR tests, with 45,261 carried out in the past 24 hours.
Saudi health clinics set up by the ministry as testing hubs or treatment centers have helped hundreds of thousands of people around the Kingdom since the outbreak of the pandemic.
Among those testing hubs are Taakad (make sure) centers and Tetamman (rest assured) clinics.
Taakad centers provide COVID-19 testing for those who show no or mild symptoms or believe they have come into contact with an infected individual, while the Tetamman clinics offer treatment and advice to those with virus symptoms, such as fever, loss of taste and smell, and breathing difficulties.
Appointments to either service can also be made through the ministry’s Sehhaty app.