First experience with the ultra compact mobile extracorporeal membrane oxygenation system Cardiohelp in interhospital transport

Interact Cardiovasc Thorac Surg. 2011 Jun;12(6):978-81. doi: 10.1510/icvts.2010.264630. Epub 2011 Mar 8.


In patients with severe cardiopulmonary failure extracorporeal assist devices are to support patients during resuscitation, for transportation, until organ recovery, and as bridge to further therapeutic modalities. We report on our first experience with the new Cardiohelp system for interhospital transfer of cardiopulmonarily compromised patients. The Cardiohelp system was used for transportation and in-house treatment in six male patients with a mean age of 41±17 years. Five patients suffered respiratory failure; one patient with acute myocardial infarction was in profound cardiogenic shock. Accordingly, the Cardiohelp system was implanted as a venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) in five patients and as a venoarterial system in one patient. The preECMO ventilation time was 0.5-4 days. The patients were transported to our institution by car (n=1) or helicopter (n=5) over a distance of 80-5850 km. The subsequent in-house ECMO support was continued with the Cardiohelp and lasted for 5-13 days. PostECMO ventilation was one to 25 days. A 100% survival was achieved. The portable Cardiohelp system allows location-independent stabilization of cardiopulmonary compromised patients with consecutive interhospital transfer and in-house treatment. The integrated sensors, which register arterial and venous line pressure, blood temperature, hemoglobin as well as SvO(2), greatly alleviate its management and considerably increase safety.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Air Ambulances
  • Automobiles
  • Blood Pressure
  • Body Temperature
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation / instrumentation*
  • Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation / methods
  • Equipment Design
  • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation / instrumentation*
  • Hemoglobins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Miniaturization
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Patient Transfer*
  • Respiration, Artificial
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / physiopathology
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / therapy*
  • Shock, Cardiogenic / physiopathology
  • Shock, Cardiogenic / therapy*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Hemoglobins
  • Oxygen