Retired paramedic Larry Delfs is being transferred to a long-term acute-care facility following his treatment that included a team of nurses from Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital. The Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital nurses traveled to Tucson twice to assist with patient care and staff education on using ECMO (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) to help treat Delf.
“It was not an easy decision for all of us, since we were leaving our families and knowingly going to a COVID patient to run ECMO. But we all took the risk, as we felt it was our duty to help our sister facilities and also considered that the patient is a fellow staff member,” said one of the nurses, Maricris Tallant, who lives in Peoria.
After contracting COVID-19, Delfs initially was admitted to Carondelet St. Joseph’s Hospital. Over the next few days his pulmonary status worsened and he developed acute respiratory failure requiring intubation, maximum support for his circulatory system and suffered an acute kidney injury. Carondelet administration arranged for Abrazo Arizona Heart Hospital nurses with ECMO experience to travel from Phoenix.
Delfs’ condition stabilized after three weeks on the ECMO device.