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Ann Thorac Med. 2013 Jul;8(3):133-41. doi: 10.4103/1817-1737.114290.

Extracorporeal life support for acute respiratory distress syndromes.

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  • 1Section of Pulmonary Medicine, Nationwide Children's Hospital, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus, OH, USA ; Section of Heart Center, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, OH, USA ; Department of Pediatrics, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus, OH, USA ; Department of Internal Medicine, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, Columbus, OH, USA.


The morbidity and mortality of acute respiratory distress syndrome remain to be high. Over the last 50 years, the clinical management of these patients has undergone vast changes. Significant improvement in the care of these patients involves the development of mechanical ventilation strategies, but the benefits of these strategies remain controversial. With a growing trend of extracorporeal support for critically ill patients, we provide a historical review of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) including its failures and successes as well as discussing extracorporeal devices now available or nearly accessible while examining current clinical indications and trends of ECMO in respiratory failure.


Acute respiratory distress syndrome; extracorporeal life support; extracorporeal membrane oxygenation

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