Background: Conventional therapy against acute pediatric cardiopulmonary failure (APCPF) caused by a variety of disease entities remains unsatisfactory with extremely high morbidity and mortality. For refractory APCPF, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is one of the last resorts.
Methods: In this study, the in-hospital outcomes of pediatric patients with refractory APCPF receiving ECMO support were reviewed.
Results: Between August 2006 and May 2011, a single-center cohort study was performed in pediatric patients who required ECMO support due to cardiogenic shock or severe hypoxemia. A total of 22 patients with mean age of 7.0 ± 6.3 years received ECMO (male = 11; female = 11). The indications included acute fulminant myocarditis (AFM) (n = 6), congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) (n = 3), acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) (n = 6), enterovirus 71 (n = 3), viral sepsis (n = 2), refractory ventricular fibrillation due to long QT syndrome (n = 1), and pulmonary edema with brain herniation (n = 1). Eighteen patients received veno-arterial (VA) mode ECMO, while another four patients undertook the veno-venous (VV) mode. The duration of ECMO use and hospitalization were 6.1 ± 3.1 and 24.4 ± 19.4 days, respectively. The survival rate in patients with AFM was 100% (n = 6). Successful ECMO weaning with uneventful discharge from hospital was noted in 14 (63.6%) patients, whereas in-hospital mortality despite successful ECMO weaning occurred in 5 patients (22.7%). Failure in ECMO weaning and in-hospital death was noted in 3 patients (13.6%).
Conclusions: ECMO resuscitation is an effective strategy in the clinical setting of APCPF.