A device nicknamed the ‘artificial lung’ was used for the first time in Romania for a patient in Timisoara who suffered from severe respiratory insufficiency. The external device used in the Timisoara hospital cleans the patient’s blood of the excess carbon dioxide and helps oxygenate it, hence its ‘artificial lung’ name. Its structure is similar to the pulmonary alveolae, and supplement the functions of the lung whenever needed.
This technique offers time for the lungs to heal and for the patient to regain normal breathing.
An artificial lung is more usually a prosthetic device that is implanted into the body to replace biological lungs. In many cases, an external heart – lung machine is used to take over the function of the heart and lungs during surgery, maintaining the circulation and oxygen content of the blood.
(photo source: Monza Hospital, Bucharest)