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J Extra Corpor Technol. 2011 Jun;43(2):75-8.

Adult respiratory distress syndrome caused by 2009 H1N1 influenza during pregnancy: success of ECMO for both the mother and the child.

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  • 1Department of Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit, Cliniques Universitaires St. Luc, Brussels, Belgium.


Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is a technique that provides support to selected patients with severe respiratory failure. During the 2009 H1N1 influenza infection outbreak, ECMO was used with a good impact on survival for pregnant women, who are at higher risk of H1N1 influenza infection. However, there is little information about the survival of fetus post-ECMO therapy in the literature. We present a case report of a pregnant patient with severe adult respiratory distress syndrome secondary to 2009 H1N1 influenza treated with ECMO. The outcome was good both for the mother and her fetus. At 1-year follow-up, her child had no neurological or clinical abnormalities. We conclude that ECMO can be used safely during pregnancy with a good neurological and clinical outcome for the fetus.

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