Use of rapid-deployment extracorporeal membrane oxygenation for the resuscitation of pediatric patients with heart disease after cardiac arrest

B W Duncan, A E Ibrahim, V Hraska, P J del Nido, P C Laussen, D L Wessel, J E Mayer, L K Bower, R A Jonas
Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery 1998, 116 (2): 305-11

INTRODUCTION: We have recently used extracorporeal membrane oxygenation as a means of rapidly resuscitating pediatric patients with heart disease after cardiopulmonary arrest, in whom conventional resuscitation measures have failed.

METHODS: We developed a fully portable extracorporeal membrane oxygenation circuit that is maintained vacuum and carbon dioxide-primed at all times. When needed, the circuit is crystalloid-primed and can be ready for use within 15 minutes. Since February 1996, we have used this rapid-deployment circuit to resuscitate 11 pediatric patients in full cardiopulmonary arrest.

RESULTS: The median age of the 11 patients was 120 days (2 days to 4.6 years). Nine patients had a cardiac arrest after cardiac surgery. One patient had a cardiac arrest during cardiac catheterization and one patient had a cardiac arrest before cardiac surgery. Median duration of cardiopulmonary resuscitation was 55 minutes (range 20 to 103 minutes), with no difference in the duration of cardiopulmonary resuscitation between survivors and nonsurvivors. Ten of 11 patients (91%) were weaned from extracorporeal membrane oxygenation and seven (64%) survived to hospital discharge. Six patients are long-term survivors, five of whom are in New York Heart Association class I; one survivor is in class II. Seven patients resuscitated with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation before the use of this rapid-deployment circuit had a median duration of cardiopulmonary resuscitation of 90 minutes, with two (28.6%) survivors.

CONCLUSIONS: The use of rapid-deployment extracorporeal membrane oxygenation results in shorter resuscitation times and improved survival in pediatric patients with heart disease after cardiopulmonary arrest.

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