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[Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) as cardiac assist device in pediatrics].

[Article in German]

Author information

  • 1Abteilung für Kinderkardiologie und Pädiatrische Intensivmedizin, Klinikum Grosshadern, Munich.


Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is a common treatment for severe respiratory failure. However, ECMO can also be used as cardiac support. ECMO is the most common mechanical circulatory assist device in pediatrics, followed by pulsatile ventricular assist devices. Advantages are the simultaneous support of respiratory and hemodynamic functions and the fast bedside availability. The major disadvantage is the limited duration of therapy. The transthoracic connection of ECMO after cardiac failure in cardiothoracic surgery in childhood allows a controlled weaning on the intensive care unit. Weaning from ECMO is successful in about 45 to 80 % in cases of circulatory support; survival rates depend on patient selection, treatment protocol and indication. Bleeding problems, thromboembolic complications, hemolysis, infections, renal and neurologic complications are major problems.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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