The objective of this study was to evaluate our institutional experience with veno-venous (VV) extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) in patients with severe acute respiratory failure (ARF).
From January 2007 to August 2013, 31 patients with severe ARF that was due to various causes and refractory to mechanical ventilation with conventional therapy were supported with VV ECMO. A partial pressure of arterial oxygen (PaO2)/inspired fraction of oxygen (FiO2) <100 mm Hg at an FiO2 of 1.0 or a pH <7.25 due to CO2 retention were set as criteria for VV ECMO.
Overall, 68% of patients survived among those who had received VV ECMO with a mean PaO2/FiO2 of 56.8 mm Hg. Furthermore, in trauma patients, early use of ECMO had the best outcome with a 94% survival rate.
VV ECMO is an excellent, life-saving treatment option in patients suffering from acute and life-threatening respiratory failure due to various causes, especially trauma, and early use of VV ECMO therapy improved outcomes in these patients.