Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in trauma: A single institution experience and review of the literature

Aaron Strumwasser, Joshua M. Tobin, Reynold Henry, Chrissy Guidry, Caroline Park, Kenji Inaba, Demetrios Demetriades

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Introduction: Limited options exist for cardiovascular support of the trauma patient in extremis. This patient population offers challenges that are often considered insurmountable. This article identifies a heterogeneous group of trauma patients in extremis who may benefit from extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Methods: Data were sourced from the medical records of all patients placed on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation following trauma at a Level I Trauma Center between 1 December 2016 and 1 December 2017. Results: All patients were male (N = 7), mostly with blunt injuries (n = 5), with an average age of 41 years and with an average Injury Severity Scores of 33 (median = 34). Two out of seven patients survived (28.5%). Survivors tended to have a longer duration on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (13.5 vs 3.8 days), had extracorporeal membrane oxygenation initiated later (15 vs 7.8 days), and had suffered a blunt injury. Two patients were initiated on veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (both non-survivors) and five were initiated on veno-venous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (two survivors, three non-survivors). Five patients were heparinized immediately (one survivor, four non-survivors), and two patients were heparinized after clotting was noted in the circuit (one survivor, one non-survivor). Three of the seven (42.8%) patients suffered cardiac arrest either prior to, or during, the initiation of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (all non-survivors). Discussion: Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation use in the trauma patient in extremis is not standard; however, this article demonstrates that extracorporeal membrane oxygenation is feasible in a complex, heterogeneous patient population when treated at designated centers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)845-853
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Artificial Organs
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
  • Resuscitation
  • Trauma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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