Coronavirus ward
Coronavirus ward Eitan Elhadez / TPS

A 39-year-old man from Haifa has died of coronavirus-related complications, YediotAharonot reports.

After his lungs collapsed, the man was placed on an ECMO machine (extracorporeal membrane oxygenation) and remained on it for eight days while doctors fought to stabilize his condition, ultimately without success. ECMO is also known colloquially as “life support” or a “heart-lung” machine, as it mimics the actions of these organs, and the survival rate of those attached to such a machine is in the region of 50% when operated by highly-trained personnel. Doctors describe it as a “last-ditch effort” and even if patients rally while on it, they still have to be transferred to a ventilator as part of a gradual weaning process as their bodies gain the strength to resume independent functioning.

This latest victim, as yet unnamed, has a father who is also struggling with Covid-19, and is hospitalized in Haifa’s Bnai Zion hospital, as well as several other family members have also contracted the disease.

The latest figures from the Israeli Health Ministry show a total of 138,719 coronavirus cases since the outbreak of the epidemic, and 1,040 associated deaths.

So far, 107,600 people have made a full recovery and 30,079 cases remain active, of which 936 are being treated in the nation’s hospitals. The others are either at home or in coronavirus hotels.

Of those in hospital, 458 are defined as serious cases (down from 463 yesterday), and the number of those on ventilators is currently stable at 138.