Dr. Renzo Spoke About Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation

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It is a technology that helps critically ill patients

By Roberto Hugo Gonzalez

As originally published by Mega Doctor News in its newsprint edition May 2018

Even though he has been in the Rio Grande Valley for almost two years, he still falls under the category of new to the area. In other articles, I have written that the Valley is getting talented physicians with specialties almost exclusive to the large cities in the United States. Dr. Alfredo Renzo R. Arauco Brown or better known as Dr. Renzo is one of them; he is board certified in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Disease, and Critical Care Medicine. He is also trained in Lung Transplantation.

Lung Transplantation? “Yes, this is a subspecialty of Pulmonology that takes care of more advanced lung disease and can facilitate replacement of end-stage lungs with new ones,” Dr. Renzo said. He works out of the Pulmonary and Sleep Center of the Valley, and the main hospital where he practices is Doctors Hospital at Renaissance (DHR).

Dr. Renzo received his undergraduate medical education from Peru’s Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia. Eight months out of his last two years of undergraduate education were spent in clinical and research sub-internships at Johns Hopkins University in the fields of Internal Medicine, Infectious Disease, and Pulmonology. His post-graduate medical training (internship and residency) was obtained at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, Texas, followed by post-doctoral fellowships in Pulmonary, Lung Transplantation, and Critical Care Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.

He told Mega Doctor News that in his practice they offer pulmonary and sleep medicine, including all the subspecialties inside the pulmonary field. “We treat hypertension, advanced lung disease, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), and in the hospital, we are pulmonary consultants and Intensive Critical Unit (ICU) doctors.”

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Dr. Renzo was part of the faculty of physician lecturers during the 26th Annual Rio Grande Valley Medical Education Conference & Exposition; his topic was A New Advance in Critical Care.

Extracorporeal Life Support is technology that offers the newest strategy to help support critically ill patients that die because the conventional procedures such as mechanical ventilation or other methods are not enough. “This is one level ahead; the technology is only available in the larger cities and biggest medical centers. But we want to bring these to the Valley and are currently working on it,” he said.

Is anyone from your practice trained with this new technology? “Yes, I was trained on Extra Corporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO).” He is hoping that in the next 18 months, this new service will be available in the Rio Grande Valley if everything continues at the current pace.

He added that by having this service locally, it represents an extraordinary option especially for patients that that are in critical conditions. “Sometimes the patients are too sick and cannot be transferred to any major city because their condition is unstable. We will have a higher level of care for this community,” he said.

Dr. Renzo’s participation was to give all attendees an overview of what ECMO is, the main goal of bringing ECMO to the Valley, and what it means for the patient. He said, “I want to create a point zero on the topic and continue educating on the subject in the future.”

What have you encountered here that worries you as a pulmonary doctor? “Regarding lung disease, we have a lot of COPD, a lot of tobacco-related diseases, a lot of pulmonary fibrosis, and pulmonary hypertension.”

According to Dr. Renzo, the types of patients are a combination of the mixture of cultures. “The Valley is a place where people retire from other parts of the nation with many comorbidities at an advanced age. The community is growing, and we need to improve our medical services to be at the level of their needs.”