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Respiratory therapy alumna among first to receive ECMO certification

July 26, 2021   Respiratory therapists continue to be an integral part of the health care teams working to save the lives of those afflicted with COVID-19. Now, respiratory therapists can be officially certified as ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) specialists, and Mizzou Health Professions alumna and respiratory therapist Andrea Johnson was part of the first group to take the exam to become officially certified.    ECMO is a process in which blood is pumped outside of the body to a heart-lung machine that removes carbon dioxide and sends oxygen-filled blood back to tissues in the body. This method allows blood to bypass the heart and lungs, allowing the organs to rest and heal. In addition to treating a variety of other infections, ECMO is used to treat COVID-19 patients in critical care.   Johnson says her background in respiratory therapy prepared her well to learn more about ECMO: “So much...

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