[Extracorporeal lung support in patients with severe respiratory failure secondary to the 2010-2011 winter seasonal outbreak of influenza A (H1N1) in Spain]

J Bonastre, B Suberviola, J C Pozo, J E Guerrero, A Torres, A Rodríguez, I Martín-Loeches et al.
Medicina Intensiva 2012, 36 (3): 193-9

OBJECTIVE: To describe the use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) in refractory respiratory failure.

DESIGN: A prospective, observational, multi-center study was carried out.

SETTING: Intensive Care Units (ICU) in 148 Spanish hospitals.

PATIENTS: Subjects admitted during epidemic weeks 50-52 of 2010 and weeks 1-4 of 2011, receiving respiratory support with ECMO.

MAIN VARIABLES OF INTEREST: Clinical and blood gas features, complications and survival of patients with ECMO.

RESULTS: Out of 300 ICU admitted patients, 239 (79.6%) were mechanically ventilated. ECMO was available in only 5 ICUs. Nine patients were treated with ECMO (3% of the total and 3.2% of the ventilated patients). In 77.7% of the cases some hypoxemia rescue technique was previously used. ECMO was initiated when ARDS proved refractory to standard treatment. ECMO therapy was started a median of 4.5 days after the onset of mechanical ventilation. The median duration of ECMO was 6 days. Veno-venous (VV) ECMO was the most frequent cannulation mode (88.9%). Four patients had complications associated with ECMO therapy. The median ICU and hospital stay was 17 and 29 days, respectively. In five patients (55.5%), ECMO assistance was satisfactory suspended. The ICU and hospital survival rate was 44.4%.

CONCLUSIONS: The use of ECMO in refractory respiratory failure in patients with influenza A (H1N1) is rare in Spain. The hospital survival achieved with its use allows it to be regarded as a possible rescue technique in these patients.

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