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Resuscitation. 2012 Aug;83(8):966-70. doi: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2012.01.027. Epub 2012 Feb 1.

Emergency physician-initiated extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

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  • 1Emergency Department, Sharp Memorial Hospital, 7901 Frost Street, San Diego, CA 92123, United States.



Extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation (ECPR) refers to emergent percutaneous veno-arterial cardiopulmonary bypass to stabilize and provide temporary support of patients who suffer cardiopulmonary arrest. Initiation of ECPR by emergency physicians with meaningful long-term patient survival has not been demonstrated.


To determine whether emergency physicians could successfully incorporate ECPR into the resuscitation of patients who present to the emergency department (ED) with cardiopulmonary collapse refractory to traditional resuscitative efforts.


A three-stage algorithm was developed for ED ECPR in patients meeting inclusion/exclusion criteria. We report a case series describing our experience with this algorithm over a 1-year period.


42 patients presented to our ED with cardiopulmonary collapse over the 1-year study period. Of these, 18 patients met inclusion/exclusion criteria for the algorithm. 8 patients were admitted to the hospital after successful ED ECPR and 5 of those patients survived to hospital discharge neurologically intact. 10 patients were not started on bypass support because either their clinical conditions improved or resuscitative efforts were terminated.


Emergency physicians can successfully incorporate ED ECPR in the resuscitation of patients who suffer acute cardiopulmonary collapse. More studies are necessary to determine the true efficacy of this therapy.

Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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