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Johannes Gratz receives European Society of Intensive Care Medicine's Clinical Research Award

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(Vienna, 08 November 2022) Johannes Gratz, senior doctor at MedUni Vienna's Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, was presented with the Clinical Research Award by the European Society of Intensive Care Medicine (ESICM) at its 35th Congress in Paris. He received the award for a study on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).

Johannes Gratz is receiving funding for his project submission "Comparison of Anticoagulation Strategies using Unfractionated heparin, Argatroban and Low-molecular-weight heparin for ExtraCorporeal Membrane Oxygenation support (CASUAL ECMO Trial)."

The research project is a study comparing different blood-thinning strategies during extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). ECMO may be used in patients with severe circulatory and/or pulmonary failure, where other therapeutic options fail. In adult patients, several litres of blood per minute are typically withdrawn from the body through a large-lumen vascular access. Once outside the body, the blood is oxygenated and carbon dioxide is removed from it before it is pumped back into venous (lung replacement) or arterial (combined lung/heart replacement) blood vessels, depending on the indication. Due to the extensive contact of the blood with foreign surfaces, blood thinning, i.e. anticoagulation, is usually necessary to prevent thromboembolic complications during ECMO therapy. The correct choice of anticoagulation treatment is critical, since bleeding and thromboembolic complications both contribute significantly to morbidity and mortality during ECMO therapy. The proposed research project will, for the first time, directly compare three different anticoagulants (unfractionated heparin, low-molecular-weight heparin, and argatroban) during ECMO therapy in terms of the incidence of bleeding and/or thromboembolic complications.

About Johannes Gratz
Johannes Gratz studied medicine at MedUni Vienna and completed his specialist training in anaesthesia and critical care medicine at MedUni Vienna's Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine. In parallel to this, he completed his doctoral studies in applied medical science at MedUni Vienna. An international placement took him to Valencia (Spain). In 2022, he habilitated in anaesthesia and critical care medicine. His main research interest is blood clotting in the perioperative, critical care and emergency medicine context, and he is deputy head of the "Coagulation" working group within the department (Head: Eva Schaden). As a senior doctor, he is responsible for personnel management for the Division of General Anesthesia and Intensive Care Medicine of the Department of Anesthesia, Critical Care and Pain Medicine.