St. Luke's uses new treatment on Montgomery Co. COVID-19 patient

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- St. Luke's is using a new treatment for coronavirus patients, and Patton Village Police Officer Chris Hernandez was the first patient to test the treatment.

Hernandez was notably the first person diagnosed with COVID-19 in Montgomery County after attending the Rodeo Cookoff in March.

READ MORE: Montgomery Co. COVID-19 patient who attended rodeo cook-off out of hospital

St. Luke's treated Hernandez with an "ecmo" machine that oxygenates the blood by pumping it out of the body, through an artificial lung, then back in the body.

Doctors say "ecmo" helps relieve strain on damaged organs. The treatment is typically used for severe lung damage from infection, shock after a massive heart attack and other conditions.

The best news? The treatment worked and Hernandez is back home after more than five weeks in the hospital.

Hernandez says his symptoms were manageable for several days, but then worsened and he went to the hospital.

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St. Luke's filtered the patient's blood through an artificial lung for oxygenation. He was released yesterday after five weeks in the hospital.

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