The use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in patients with Gram-negative or viral sepsis

Stewart, D.L.; Dela Cruz, T.V.; Ziegler, C.; Goldsmith, L.J.
January 1997
Perfusion;1997, Vol. 12 Issue 1, p3
Academic Journal
To evaluate the use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) in patients with Gram-negative or viral sepsis, a survey of ECMO centres comprising the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization was conducted. Data collected from neonatal and paediatric intensive care units included patient demographics, indicators of infection, presence of cardiac instability and respiratory criteria for ECMO. One-hundred-and-seven patients with documented sepsis were divided into survivors and nonsurvivors. Prior to ECMO, the patients with a persistent metabolic acidosis ( p > 0.008) and/or hypotension requiring more than two inotropic agents ( p > 0.02) to support blood pressure were less likely to survive. Also, patients with Gram-positive infections (77%) were more likely to survive their ECMO course than those with Gram-negative (60%) or viral infections (40%). Although survival is less in septic infants than in infants with traditional respiratory failure placed on ECMO, sepsis should not be a contraindication to the use of ECMO. The parents should be informed of the chances of survival with each type of sepsis or respiratory infection (if known), so that a truly informed decision can be made by the parents. We feel that the additional information regarding Gram-negative and viral sepsis should assist the clinician in this goal.


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