Even if you do manage to make it to stage 5, you are still in a devastatingly critical condition. At this point, your lungs are so filled with the virus that the ventilator just isn’t enough anymore and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation is required.
The ECMO machine involves having a plastic tube inserted into a large vein and/or artery through the neck, chest or groin. This machine will bypass your lungs and directly oxygenate your blood, however, there is a major problem with this stage as many hospitals do not have this machine. If you are stable enough, you will be transferred to a facility that does.