AdventHealth Morning Briefing: Physicians discuss COVID-19’s impact on heart and lungs

Fla., Today’s AdventHealth Morning Briefing, featuring Dr. Duane Davis, chief medical officer of AdventHealth Institutes and a lung transplant surgeon, and Dr. Scott Silvestry, thoracic surgical director and heart transplant surgeon, focused on COVID-19’s impact on the heart and lungs.

The physicians also discussed how AdventHealth’s ECMO unit – one of the largest in the country – is a life-saving treatment for some of Florida’s sickest COVID-19 patients.

AdventHealth Morning Briefing August 27, 2020

Highlights from the briefing include:

  • ECMO saves lives. Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation, known as ECMO, is a device that provides oxygen and removes carbon dioxide from the body. It’s used for treating the most critical patients, including those with COVID-19. While the national survival rate for COVID-19 patients who are placed on ECMO is 55 percent, AdventHealth’s is about 70 percent.

    AdventHealth has the only ECMO unit for adults in Central Florida, with the specialized care at the Orlando and Waterman campuses. The units are made possible by community support through the AdventHealth Foundation Central Florida.
  • Asthma sufferers are more susceptible to COVID-19: “The gateway for the COVID-19 virus to enter the body is in the proteins that live primarily in the lung and respiratory tissues as well as the heart,” said Davis. “The impact of having an over-reactive airway, with the introduction of a virus into the cells of the lung… the airways will shut down and make it harder to breathe, so those individuals are more susceptible to having very significant complications from the virus.”
  • There has been an increase in non-COVID-related deaths due to heart attacks, heart failure and respiratory problems: People have been scared to seek emergency medical attention during the pandemic. “If there are clear breathing problems or chest pain issues, it’s important to make sure that you don’t have something that is immediately life threatening or life altering,” said Davis.

The video may be downloaded by following this link:

Join us Thursday, Sept. 3, at 8:30 am for the next AdventHealth Morning Briefing where we’ll discuss the latest developments with COVID-19. The videos stream on the Life at AdventHealth Central Florida page and are saved in our newsroom at