Novel Non-surgical Strategy of Severe Chest Trauma With Venovenous Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation, Angioembolization, and Bronchial Blocker: A Case Report

Cureus. 2024 Apr 16;16(4):e58359. doi: 10.7759/cureus.58359. eCollection 2024 Apr.


Severe chest trauma often requires immediate intervention, typically involving open chest surgery. However, advancements in medical technology offer alternative approaches, such as endovascular therapy and venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VV-ECMO). In a recent case, a middle-aged male cyclist was admitted after colliding with a vehicle, presenting in shock with multiple injuries, including cerebral contusion and rib fractures. Despite initial treatments such as chest tubes and blood transfusions, his condition remained unstable, with worsening respiratory failure and hemorrhagic shock. A multidisciplinary team devised a comprehensive treatment plan, utilizing VV-ECMO for oxygenation support, a bronchial blocker to localize the hematoma, and interventional radiology for hemothorax hemostasis. These interventions successfully stabilized the patient without resorting to open chest surgery. Endovascular therapy, alongside bronchial blockers, facilitated adequate hemostasis and hematoma localization, avoiding invasive procedures. VV-ECMO plays a crucial role in maintaining oxygenation during respiratory failure. Strategic anticoagulation with nafamostat mesylate prevented clotting in the ECMO circuit. This case highlights the effectiveness of minimally invasive strategies in managing severe chest trauma, preserving lung function, and improving outcomes. In refractory cases, VV-ECMO acts as a bridge to stabilize respiratory status before definitive treatment, while bronchial blockers localize hematomas, reducing the need for surgery. Interventional radiology offers a less invasive option for achieving hemostasis. Collaboration among medical specialties and innovative technologies is critical to successfully navigating complex chest trauma cases.

Keywords: bronchial blocker; chest trauma; extracorporeal membrane oxygenation; interventional radiology; lung contusion.

Publication types

  • Case Reports