Cardiology, Critical Care, Improving Outcomes

More Positive ECMO Data.

Its 2034, yet your ED is still receiving EMS calls  via telephone to the charge nurse. EMS is 4 minutes out with a witnessed arrest of a 54 year old male downtown that occurred 8 minutes ago.  The patients wife was able to quickly state that the patient had no known medical problems, and that the patient had said he “felt funny,” grabbed his chest, then arrested.  EMS found him to be pulseless and in ventricular fibrillation.  ACLS is initiated in the field & continued en route, and the charge nurse activates the mobile ECMO lab. 

In February 2014 Resuscitation, Sakamoto et al. treated out of hospital cardiac arrest patients with VF/VT on the initial EKG with a treatment bundle including ECMO-CPR, hypothermia, and intra-aortic balloon pump vs conventional CPR.  The results?

Screen Shot 2014-03-09 at 6.20.01 PM

I’ll admit, I’m not terribly familiar with ECMO, other than what I’ve seen on twitter, on, and on YouTube.  By the end of my career, I could see the above scenario being common at tertiary centers – much like pre-hospital cath lab & stroke team are activated now.



Extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation versus conventional cardiopulmonary resuscitation in adults with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest: A prospective observational study.  PMID: 24530251 


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