Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation for COVID-19: evolving outcomes from the international Extracorporeal Life Support Organization Registry
ECMO, short for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, has been used for decades in select hospitals to treat critically ill children and adults. It takes over for both the heart and lungs temporarily, circulating the blood outside the body under constant supervision of trained providers.
At the start of the pandemic, some experts had strong reservations about placing COVID-19 patients on ECMO, for fear of harming their lungs. As more centers began to try it, the survival rate mirrored that of ECMO’s use in other forms of acute lung failure, as the team behind the new paper reported a year ago.
Graeme MacLaren, Philip S Boonstra, Alain Combes, Cara Agerstrand, Gail Annich, Rodrigo Diaz, Eddy Fan,
Katarzyna Hryniewicz, Roberto Lorusso, Matthew L Paden, Christine M Stead, Justyna Swol, Theodore J Iwashyna, Arthur S Slutsky, Daniel Brodie; the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization