Current trends in neonatal ECMO

Semin Perinatol. 2018 Mar;42(2):80-88. doi: 10.1053/j.semperi.2017.12.003. Epub 2018 Jan 2.


Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is a life-saving therapy for patients with respiratory and cardiac failure refractory to maximal medical management. The extracorporeal life support organization registry is the largest available resource for describing the population and outcomes of patients treated with this therapy. The use of ECMO for neonatal patients is decreasing in proportion to the total annual ECMO runs most likely due to advancements in medical management. Although the overall survival for neonatal ECMO has decreased, this is likely a reflection of the increasingly complex neonatal patients treated with this therapy. Although many patient and mechanical complications are decreasing over time, there remains a high percentage of morbidities and risks associated with ECMO. Continued refinements in management strategies are important to improving overall patient outcomes.

Keywords: Developmental outcomes; ECMO modes; Equipment trends; Mechanical complications; Neonatal cardiac ECMO; Neonatal respiratory ECMO; Patient complications; Patient survival.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation* / trends
  • Heart Failure / mortality
  • Heart Failure / therapy*
  • Hernias, Diaphragmatic, Congenital / mortality
  • Hernias, Diaphragmatic, Congenital / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Meconium Aspiration Syndrome / mortality
  • Meconium Aspiration Syndrome / therapy*
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Registries / statistics & numerical data*
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / mortality
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / therapy*
  • Survival Rate