Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) cardiopulmonary support in infancy

Trans Am Soc Artif Intern Organs. 1976:22:80-93.


We have used prolonged extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) in the treatment of 13 moribund infants (including 9 neonates), with 4 survivors (3 neonates). Successfully treated cases include post-operative cardiac failure, infant respiratory distress syndrome, massive meconium aspiration, and persistent fetal circulation. All cases have been managed with veno-arterial bypass at flow rates of 80-100 cc/Kg/min. Carotid cannulation for arterial access and careful control of heparin anticoagulation based on whole blood activated clotting time are among the techniques which have contributed to this success. Progressive pulmonary or cardiac failure has been the major problem in older infants, intracranial bleeding is the major problem in neonates. Both of these problems could be minimized by instituting ECMO earlier in the clinical course, but this awaits development of reliable early predictors of mortality.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Coagulation
  • Catheterization
  • Child, Preschool
  • Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation / therapy
  • Extracorporeal Circulation*
  • Female
  • Heart-Lung Machine / instrumentation
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Oxygenators, Membrane*
  • Resuscitation