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J Med Toxicol. 2016 Mar;12(1):95-9. doi: 10.1007/s13181-015-0486-8.

Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) for Severe Toxicological Exposures: Review of the Toxicology Investigators Consortium (ToxIC).

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Department of Pediatrics, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Children's Hospital Colorado, 13123 E 16th Ave B251, Aurora, CO, 80045, USA.
Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center, Denver Health Hospital, Denver, CO, USA.
Department of Emergency Medicine and Medical Toxicology, University of Arizona, Banner Good Samarian Medical Center, Phoenix, AZ, USA.
Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Rochester Medicine, Rochester, NY, USA.
Division of Clinical Pharmacology, Toxicology and Therapeutic Innovation, Children's Mercy, Kansas City, MO, USA.
Department of Pharmacy, University of Rochester Medicine, Rochester, NY, USA.
Cincinnati Drug and Poison Information Center, Cincinnati, OH, USA.


Although there have been many developments related to specific strategies for treating patients after poisoning exposures, the mainstay of therapy remains symptomatic and supportive care. One of the most aggressive supportive modalities is extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). Our goal was to describe the use of ECMO for toxicological exposures reported to the American College of Medical Toxicology (ACMT) Toxicology Investigators Consortium (ToxIC). We performed a retrospective review of the ACMT ToxIC Registry from January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2013. Inclusion criteria included patients aged 0 to 89 years, evaluated between January 2010 through December 2013, and received ECMO for toxicological exposure. There were 26,271 exposures (60 % female) reported to the ToxIC Registry, 10 (0.0004 %) received ECMO: 4 pediatric (< 12 years), 2 adolescent (12-18 years), and 4 adults (>18 years). Time of initiation of ECMO ranged from 4 h to 4 days, with duration from 15 h to 12 days. Exposures included carbon monoxide/smoke inhalation (2), bitter almonds, methanol, and several medications including antihistamines (2), antipsychotic/antidepressant (2), cardiovascular drugs (2), analgesics (2), sedative/hypnotics (2), and antidiabetics (2). Four ECMO patients received cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) during their hospital course, and the overall survival rate was 80 %. ECMO was rarely used for poisoning exposures in the ACMT ToxIC Registry. ECMO was utilized for a variety of ages and for pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical exposures. In most cases, ECMO was administered prior to cardiovascular failure, and survival rate was high. If available, ECMO may be a valid treatment modality.


ACMT ToxIC; ECMO; Exposures; Toxicology

[Available on 2017-03-01]
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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