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Daniel, a leukemia sufferer, battled sepsis and massive pneumonia. ECMO saved him

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Six-year-old Daniel suffers from leukemia and, as a result of aggressive chemotherapy, he developed sepsis and massive pneumonia. He was completely devoid of immunity and had major blood clotting disorders. The child's salvation came in the hospital's intensive care unit for adults, where the six-year-old was connected to ECMO. Now Daniel is doing much better.

Dispute at the University Clinical Center in Gdańsk. – Who was the first to come up with the idea of ​​ECMO, that is: pediatric oncologists and cardiac surgeons are arguing about who came up with it first – says Dr. Hab. n. med. Ninela Irga-Jaworska from the Department of Pediatrics, Hematology and Oncology of the University Clinical Center in Gdańsk.

Today, this dispute is a joke. Over a month ago, the situation was serious, there was practically no time to think about the method of treatment. – We had nothing else to offer him – admits Anna Małecka from the Department of Pediatrics, Hematology and Oncology of the University Clinical Center in Gdańsk.

– We received information from our colleagues in anesthesiology that the child's condition is not improving and that respirator therapy and invasive ventilation are not effective, that we have reached a wall and that there is nothing more we can do – says Ninela Irga-Jaworska.

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It was about the life of six-year-old Daniel. The boy suffers from leukemia, as a result of aggressive chemotherapy he developed sepsis and massive pneumonia. He was completely deprived of immunity, he had major blood clotting disorders.

The first child of this kind in Poland

– On a night that was memorable for all of us, for the entire team that took part in this, we connected this ECMO, a device that temporarily replaces the work of the lungs in this case – explains Dr. Hab. n. med. Radosław Jaworski.

Daniel is most likely the first oncologically ill child in Poland to receive ECMO. – For us, this patient was exceptional, because he is a pediatric patient in the adult intensive care unit – emphasizes Professor Romuald Lango from the Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care of the University Clinical Center in Gdańsk.

– The first day brought some good news, then things got worse for a while, because it turned out that the cannulas were the wrong size and had to be replaced. After this replacement, everything actually went in the right direction from day to day – reports Anna Małecka.

– The first two or three days – incredible stress, uncertainty whether it was a success, whether he could handle it, whether it was a bad decision or maybe too risky – says Ninela Irga-Jaworska.

READ ALSO: Report: every fifth person alive today will develop cancer

Oncosegregator, or practical help for parents of children with cancerTVN24

Father Daniela is grateful to doctors

The invasive treatment method, ECMO implantation, the so-called artificial lungs, brought the expected effect. After only six days, Daniel's lungs had regenerated enough that the equipment was disconnected.

– I am grateful for the decisions they made, for all the care they gave Daniel, I can't say anything else but thank you, very much – says Piotr Pustelnik, Daniel's father.

– This case also opens up some new paths for pediatric patients where there is really a good chance for long-term survival – points out Romuald Lango.

Daniel has won the battle, but he is still fighting leukemia. The break in cancer therapy during ECMO did not worsen his health, and the six-year-old has a good chance of a full recovery. – He fights this war every day, he receives chemotherapy – says Ninela Irga-Jaworska.

Main image source: TVN24

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