Hong Kong Med J 2009;15:381-4 | Number 5, October 2009
The first novel influenza A (H1N1) fatality despite antiviral treatment and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in Hong Kong
T Liong, KL Lee, YS Poon, SY Lam, CP Chan, CS Yue, CM Chu, KY Yuen, KI Law
Intensive Care Unit, United Christian Hospital, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong
We report the first fatality caused by novel influenza A (H1N1) infection despite having the diagnosis confirmed and being given antiviral treatment after hospitalisation. This patient was also the first with influenza A (H1N1) to be supported with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in Hong Kong. Although extracorporeal membrane oxygenation is an effective means of supporting patients with refractory hypoxaemia on high mechanical ventilatory support, it is labour-intensive and technically demanding. We also discuss the challenges faced when managing this case.
Key words: Antigens, viral; Extracorporeal circulation; Influenza A virus, H1N1 subtype; Influenza, human; Oxygenators, membrane
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