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J Pediatr Surg. 2002 May;37(5):703-5.

The impact of changing neonatal respiratory management on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation utilization.

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Los Angeles, California, USA.



The introduction of inhaled nitric oxide (INO) and high-frequency oscillatory ventilation (HFV) has had a profound effect on the use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) for respiratory failure in neonates without congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the changes in the demographics and outcome of non-CDH neonates who underwent ECMO for hypoxemic respiratory failure.


All neonates (non-CDH and noncardiac) who underwent ECMO between January 1, 1989 and January 1, 2001 were reviewed. Patients were separated into 3, 4-year periods for comparison (period A, 1989 through 1992; B, 1993 through 1996; C, 1997 through 2000). Data were examined by analysis of variance and contingency table analysis.


There was a progressive decline in the total number of neonates requiring ECMO over time (period A, 172; B, 114; C, 56; P <.01). The utilization of pre-ECMO alternate respiratory therapies such as INO (period A, 0%; B, 23%; C, 98%; P <.01) and HFV (period A, 9%; B, 61%; C, 89%; P <.01) have increased significantly associated with an increase in the age of ECMO initiation (Period A, 40.5 hours; B, 58.3 hours; C, 68.5 hours; P <.01). The length of ECMO run also has increased (period A, 154.7 hours; B, 193.0 hours; C, 174.5 hours; P <.01), but the overall mortality rate has remained unchanged.


With the increasing use of INO and HFO, the absolute number of non-CDH, noncardiac neonates with hypoxemic respiratory failure requiring ECMO has decreased. Initiation of ECMO has become progressively later likely because of the use of these rescue therapies, but the overall mortality rate remains unchanged despite this delay.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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