Interhospital air transport of a blind patient on extracorporeal life support with consecutive and successful left ventricular assist device implantation

J Extra Corpor Technol. 2014 Jun;46(2):166-9.


The use of extracorporeal life support systems (ECLS) in patients with postcardiotomy low cardiac output syndrome (LCO) as a bridge to recovery and bridge to implantation of ventricular assist device (VAD) is common nowadays. A 59-year-old patient with acute myocardial infarction received a percutaneous transluminal angioplasty and stenting of the circumflex artery. During catheterization of the left coronary artery (LAD), the patient showed ventricular fibrillation and required defibrillation and cardiopulmonary resuscitation. After implantation of an intra-aortic balloon pump, the patient immediately was transmitted to the operating room. He received emergency coronary artery bypass grafting in a beating heart technique using pump-assisted minimal extracorporeal circulation circuit (MECC). Two bypass grafts were performed to the LAD and the right posterior descending artery. Despite initial successful weaning off cardiopulmonary bypass with high-dose inotropic support, the patient presented postcardiotomy LCO and an ECLS was implanted. The primary setup of the heparin-coated MECC system was modified and used postoperatively. As a result of the absence of an in-house VAD program, the patient was switched to a transportable ECLS the next day and was transferred by helicopter to the nearest VAD center where the patient received a successful insertion of a left VAD 3 days later.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Air Ambulances*
  • Blindness / complications*
  • Blindness / therapy
  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • Extracorporeal Circulation / instrumentation*
  • Extracorporeal Circulation / methods
  • Heart-Assist Devices*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Miniaturization
  • Myocardial Infarction / diagnosis
  • Myocardial Infarction / therapy*
  • Patient Transfer / methods
  • Point-of-Care Systems
  • Prosthesis Implantation
  • Transportation of Patients / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome