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World J Pediatr Congenit Heart Surg. 2014 Apr;5(2):311-4. doi: 10.1177/2150135113509820.

Ethical dilemma: offering short-term extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support for terminally ill children who are not candidates for long-term mechanical circulatory support or heart transplantation.

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  • 1Department of Critical Care Medicine, Children's National Medical Center, Washington, DC, USA.

Abstract

The use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) in terminally ill pediatric patients who are not candidates for long-term mechanical circulatory support or heart transplantation requires careful deliberation. We present the case of a 16-year-old female with a relapse of acute lymphoid leukemia and acute-on-chronic cardiomyopathy who received short-term ECMO therapy. In addition, we highlight several ethical considerations that were crucial to this patient's family-centered care and demonstrate that this therapy can be accomplished in a manner that respects patient autonomy and family wishes.

KEYWORDS:

ECMO; circulatory assistance; ethics; heart transplantation; intensive care

PMID:
24668981
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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