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Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2006 May;7(3):212-9.

Emergent use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation during pediatric cardiac catheterization.

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Department of Cardiology, Children's Hospital, Boston and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.



The goal of this study was to evaluate the utility of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) to resuscitate patients following critical cardiac events in the catheterization laboratory.


Retrospective review of medical records.


Cardiac intensive care unit and cardiac catheterization laboratory at a tertiary care children's hospital.


Pediatric patients cannulated emergently for ECMO in the cardiac catheterization laboratory (n = 22).


ECMO was initiated emergently in the cardiac catheterization laboratory for progressive hemodynamic deterioration due to low cardiac output syndrome or catheter-induced complications.


Twenty-two patients were cannulated for ECMO in the catheterization laboratory between 1996 and 2004. Median age was 33 months (range 0-192), median weight 14.8 kg (2.4-75), and median duration of ECMO 84 hrs (2-343). Indications included catheter-induced complication (n = 14), severe low cardiac output syndrome (n = 7), and hypoxemia (n = 1). Three patients (14%) were cannulated in the catheterization laboratory before catheterization for low cardiac output or hypoxemia. During cannulation, 19 patients (86%) were receiving chest compressions; median duration of cardiopulmonary resuscitation was 29 mins (20-57). Eighteen patients (82%) survived to discharge (five of whom underwent cardiac transplantation) and four (18%) died. Of 19 patients who received cardiopulmonary resuscitation during cannulation, 15 (79%) survived to discharge and nine (47%) sustained neurologic injury. There was no significant difference between survivors and nonsurvivors in age, weight, duration of cardiopulmonary resuscitation or ECMO support, pH, or lactate levels.


ECMO is a technically feasible and highly successful tool in the resuscitation of pediatric patients following critical events in the cardiac catheterization laboratory.

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