Getinge is leading the way in Extracorporeal Life Support therapy

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Getinge is a world leading supplier of components to support Extracorporeal Life Support (ECLS) - a therapy that supports the function of lungs or a heart that has ceased working. 

Invented in the 1960s to facilitate heart bypass surgery, ECLS techniques and technologies have been refined to the point that they are used increasingly in Japan, Europe and, more recently, in the US.
“Basically, we take blood out of one of the big veins in the body," says David A. Kaufman, MD, Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine at NYU School of Medicine in New York, US. "We run it through a chamber where we are able to extract the carbon dioxide and put in a high concentration of oxygen. Then, that blood is injected back into another vein."

ECLS is primarily a way to buy time and keep the blood oxygenated limiting the damage to the lungs in the most critical situations—like multi-organ failure—while doctors can figure out how to save the patient. The technique has potential in the case of trauma, while a patient awaits organ donations, or in the treatment of acute infectious disease, when a ventilator could cause damage. 

"There are times when a patient’s lungs are in such bad shape that the force that a mechanical ventilator needs to apply to get any gas into the lungs is very high," Dr. Kaufman says. "ECLS allows us to make sure that we're not adding to the damage that's already occurring from the patient's underlying disease."

Getinge has a broad, high-end product portfolio for short-term or prolonged ECLS that includes a choice of devices and consumables to provide individual and sufficient extracorporeal heart and lung support, such as centrifugal pumps, oxygenators, heater units, tubing sets, and catheters and cannulae. During the COVID-19 outbreak, ECLS therapy has provided support to acute care patients around the world in need of further life support than a ventilator can provide.

“We have seen a rising demand for ECLS therapy related products and will continue to increase our production to help our customers save more lives”, says Lena Hagman, EVP Quality & Regulatory Compliance & Managing Director Cardiopulmonary at Getinge. “Getinge has increased production output of Heart Lung Support (HLS) Advanced Sets and Permanent Life Support (PLS) Sets this year by more than 30% at our production facility in Hechingen and 110% in Rastatt and we have ambitious plans for continued growth.”

The significant investments at these manufacturing facilities in Germany are primarily related to increased production capacity. This includes various production tools, assembly machinery, coating equipment but also significant headcount increase of production employees.
Learn more about Getinge’s ECLS therapy solutions here

Watch the mini-documentary addressing some of Getinge’s life-supporting equipment

Media contact:
Tracey Dawe, Head of Marketing Communications North Europe
Phone: +44 (0) 7717 784965

About Getinge
With a firm belief that every person and community should have access to the best possible care, Getinge provides hospitals and life science institutions with products and solutions that aim to improve clinical results and optimize workflows. The offering includes products and solutions for intensive care, cardiovascular procedures, operating theatres, sterile reprocessing and life science. Getinge employs over 10,000 people worldwide and the products are sold in more than 135 countries.