Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) can be a lifesaving therapy in patients with refractory severe respiratory failure or cardiac failure. Severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) still has a high-mortality rate, but ECMO may be able to improve the outcome. Use of ECMO for respiratory failure has been increasing since 2009. Initiation of ECMO for adult ARDS should be considered when conventional therapy cannot maintain adequate oxygenation. ECMO can stabilize gas exchange and haemodynamic compromise, consequently preventing further hypoxic organ damage. ECMO is not a treatment for the underlying cause of ARDS. Because ARDS has multiple causes, the diagnosis should be investigated and treatment should be commenced during ECMO. Since ECMO is a complicated and high-risk therapy, adequate training in its performance and creation of a referring hospital network are essential. ECMO transport may be an effective method of transferring patients with severe ARDS.
- Acute respiratory distress syndrome
- Extracorporeal life support
- Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine