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J Thorac Cardiovasc Surg. 1977 Mar;73(3):375-86.

Extracorporeal membrane oxygenator support for cardiopulmonary failure. Experience in 28 cases.


We have used extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) for 28 patients (14 children and 14 adults) over a 5 year period. Nine patients improved on ECMO and 5 were long-term survivors. ECMO was used for pulmonary insufficiency in 24 patients. Initially, only moribund patients were treated, but recently the combination of open lung biopsy and pulmonary insufficiency index (PII) has been used to select patients. The best results have been obtained in newborn cases and the adult capillary leak syndromes; the major problem has been progression to fibrosis despite ECMO support. ECMO was used for cardiac failure in 4 patients. Children with postoperative cardiac failure did the best; profound shock was not reversed with venoarterial bypass. ECMO support is lifesaving in selected cases of pulmonary insufficiency. Initial trials in cardiac failure and the infant age group in this series suggest that ECMO will have an even greater role in those applications.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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