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Gulf Energy Development Public Company Limited or GULF presented a donation of twenty million baht to the Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University to fund the procurement of five ventilators and three Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) machines that are able to provide prolonged cardiac and respiratory support to patients whose heart and lungs are unable to fully function. This much-needed medical equipment is vital and in short supply amidst the new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak.
Mr. Sarath Ratanavadi, Chief Executive Officer, Gulf Energy Development, Public Company Limited stated, “GULF has consistently supported public health programs for many years. Given the current situation, the company is aware of the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in Thailand. We therefore would like to provide 20 million baht support to the Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital for the procurement of this essential medical equipment to improve the hospital’s ability to treat COVID-19 patients and increase their chances of survival. This is also a long-term investment as the medical equipment could be used to help other patients with lung and heart disease moving forward.”
Professor Piyamitr Sritara, MD, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital added, “As the COVID-19 outbreak is getting worse, the medical personnel at Ramathibodi Hospital need to speed up preparations to treat critically-ill patients whose numbers may increase in the future. As such, ECMO and ventilators are crucial equipment in a situation like this.”
With regards to COVID-19 infection, Assistant Professor Kamthorn Malatham, Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Pediatrics, Ramathibodi Hospital explained, “For this new coronavirus, 85% of patients have only a few symptoms without complications. However, we are concerned about the remaining 15% with complications who present severe symptoms as their condition worsens rapidly. They develop pneumonia, which requires life-support technology such as the ECMO that acts as artificial heart and lungs.”
“The state of the outbreak in Thailand is still in the golden period. This means that the number of infected people is relatively low but is starting to increase. There are two possible scenarios for Thailand, either a steady rise like in Singapore or a huge spike like what happened in Italy and Iran. Medical personnel hope that it will be like the former so that there will be sufficient medical personnel on the front lines and medical equipment for treating patients. Of course, prevention is better than cure, especially since there is currently no vaccine. As a result, we would like to ask for everyone’s cooperation to take care of themselves so that we all could get through this situation together,” Associate Professor Dr.Patarawan Woratanarat, MD., Head of Orthopaediecs Department, Ramathibodi Hospital concluded.
The extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine acts as a temporary medical intervention for patients whose heart and lungs are unable to provide an adequate amount of oxygen to their bodies, such as patients with respiratory failure due to severe infection. The device also helps patients who are waiting for a heart or lung transplant. It is regarded as medical innovation that significantly reduces the mortality rate of patients in hospitals.
Assistant Professor Kamthorn Malatham, Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Pediatrics, Ramathibodi Hospital
Associate Professor Dr.Patarawan Woratanarat, MD., Head of Orthopaedic Department, Ramathibodi Hospital
Mr. Sarath Ratanavadi, Chief Executive Officer, Gulf Energy Development Public Company Limited
Professor Piyamitr Sritara, MD, Dean, Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, Mahidol University
The extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine