Likud MK David Bitan connected to ECMO machine with COVID-19

The ECMO machine pumps and oxygenates a patient's blood outside the body, allowing the heart and lungs to rest.

SHEBA MEDICAL Center’s Underground Corona Critical Care Unit with an ECMO (extracorporeal life support) machine, Tel Hashomer, Ramat Gan (photo credit: COURTESY - SHEBA MEDICAL CENTER)
SHEBA MEDICAL Center’s Underground Corona Critical Care Unit with an ECMO (extracorporeal life support) machine, Tel Hashomer, Ramat Gan
(photo credit: COURTESY - SHEBA MEDICAL CENTER)
Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer and the Bitan family gave an update regarding the condition of MK David Bitan on Monday, announcing that he has been connected to an ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) machine in stable, but serious, condition.
 
Following a recommendation from the medical staff, it was decided to connect the Likud MK to an ECMO machine in full consciousness. He continues to communicate with his surroundings.
The ECMO machine is similar to the heart-lung by-pass machine used in open-heart surgery. It pumps and oxygenates a patient’s blood outside the body, allowing the heart and lungs to rest.
Bitan’s family thanked the medical staff at Sheba, saying, “David is being treated with dedication and responsibility.”
The family also thanks all of the acquaintances and friends who reached out to them with concern, adding: “We wish to hope and continue to pray for David’s health.”
Bitan was hospitalized on Sunday after testing positive for COVID-19 last week.
Bitan’s conduct and diagnosis were condemned by Health Ministry officials as 30 people, 3 of whom were fellow MKs, were forced to go into isolation after coming in contact with him.
“I thought I had the flu and nothing more. I did not have a fever, and my cough had phlegm. It started on Thursday night. I met people after that, but I thought I had the flu.” Bitan told N12 on Wednesday.