Financial and clinical outcomes of extracorporeal mechanical support

Ryan Chiu, Eric Pillado, Sohail Sareh, Kim De La Cruz, Richard J Shemin, Peyman Benharash
Journal of Cardiac Surgery 2017, 32 (3): 215-221

BACKGROUND: Over the past decade, extracorporeal mechanical support (ECMO) has been increasingly utilized in respiratory failure and cardiogenic shock. There is a need for assessing clinical and financial outcomes of ECMO use. This study presents our institution's experience with veno-arterial ECMO (VA-ECMO) over a 9-year period.

METHODS: A retrospective review of our institution's ECMO database identified patients undergoing VA-ECMO between 2005 and 2013 (N = 150). Patients were assigned to four groups by indication: post-cardiotomy syndrome, cardiogenic shock requiring cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), cardiogenic shock not requiring CPR, and respiratory failure. Hospital charges from administrative records were analyzed. Trend and correlation analyses were used to evaluate clinical and financial outcomes.

RESULTS: Of the 150 patients meeting inclusion criteria, 28% required VA-ECMO for post-cardiotomy syndrome, 31.3% for cardiogenic shock with CPR, 35.3% for cadiogenic shock with no CPR, and 5.4% for respiratory failure. Mean duration on ECMO was 5.0 ± 3.4 days with a survival rate of 64% and no difference between the four groups (p = 0.40). ECMO-associated charges averaged $74,500 ± 61,400 per patient, 6% of total hospital charges. Subgroup analysis of cardiogenic shock patients revealed a nearly twofold increase in ECMO-related charges among patients who did not receive CPR (p = 0.04), as well as a trend toward improved survival (69.8% vs 51.1%, p = 0.06).

CONCLUSION: In view of the variations in survival and costs in ECMO patients, further studies should aim to delineate patient populations that benefit from early initiation of ECMO.

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