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VOLUME 1 , ISSUE 1 ( January-March, 2023 ) > List of Articles


Outcomes of Prolonged Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (>30 days) in COVID-19 Patients on Conservative Management

Prachi Kar

Keywords : COVID-19, Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, Venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation

Citation Information : Kar P. Outcomes of Prolonged Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (>30 days) in COVID-19 Patients on Conservative Management. Indian J ECMO 2023; 1 (1):1-4.

DOI: 10.5005/jaypee-journals-11011-0004

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 13-03-2023

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2023; The Author(s).


Introduction: The onset of COVID-19 pandemic overwhelmed hospital resources with a high admission rate to critical care units. In patients experiencing progressive respiratory failure despite conventional therapies such as mechanical ventilation and prone positioning, venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VV-ECMO) offered the only hope for survival. The VV-ECMO duration for COVID-19 is often described as longer than other respiratory illnesses. The outcome of these cases varies from country to country. As the literature available on the outcome of prolonged ECMO in an Indian setting is sparse, we planned to study the same. Methods: This retrospective study included all adult patients who had undergone VV-ECMO of more than 30 days for COVID-19 illness at Medica Medica Superspecialty Hospital, Kolkata, West Bengal, India between 1 April 2020 and 31 March 2022. Patients who were still in the hospital at the end of the study period were excluded from the study. Data on total ECMO days, in-hospital mortality, age, sex, BMI, symptom onset to ECMO duration, intubation to ECMO duration, mechanical complications such as oxygenator failure or pump failure, patient complications such as major hemorrhage, ischemic stroke, liver/renal dysfunction, thrombocytopenia, culture-proven infection and use of prone position ventilation were collected from an electronic database. Patients who were discharged from the hospital were followed up at 6 months. The data were analyzed using the statistical package for the social sciences (SPSS) software, version 26 (IBM, Armonk, NY, USA). Continuous variables were expressed as mean ± standard deviation (SD) and evaluated using Student's t-test. Categorical data were expressed as frequency (in %) and evaluated using the Chi-square test or Fischer's exact t-test as applicable. Observation: Twenty patients who had prolonged ECMO (>30 days) were found eligible for the study. The average ECMO days and in-hospital mortality were 54.75 ± 33.14 and 60%, respectively. An early decision to ECMO after symptom onset and prone positioning during ECMO were factors associated with a favorable outcome. The requirement of renal replacement therapy (RRT) for renal failure was a poor prognostic factor. Conclusion: Prolonged ECMO for COVID-19 poses many challenges in terms of thrombotic and bleeding complications, major organ dysfunction, and high mortality. However, this remains the only survival hope for sick COVID-19 acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) patients.

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