Outcomes Following Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation for Severe COVID-19 in Pregnancy or Post Partum

John J. Byrne, Amir A. Shamshirsaz, Alison G. Cahill, Mark A. Turrentine, Angela R. Seasely, Joe Eid, Caroline E. Rouse, Michael Richley, Nandini Raghuraman, Mariam Naqvi, Yasser Y. El-Sayed, Martina L. Badell, Ce Ce Cheng, James Liu, Emily H. Adhikari, Soha S. Patel, Erika R. O'Neil, Patrick S. Ramsey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Importance: Existing reports of pregnant patients with COVID-19 disease who require extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) are limited, with variable outcomes noted for the maternal-fetal dyad. Objective: To examine maternal and perinatal outcomes associated with ECMO used for COVID-19 with respiratory failure during pregnancy. Design, Setting, and Participants: This retrospective multicenter cohort study examined pregnant and postpartum patients who required ECMO for COVID-19 respiratory failure at 25 hospitals across the US. Eligible patients included individuals who received care at one of the study sites, were diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection during pregnancy or up to 6 weeks post partum by positive nucleic acid or antigen test, and for whom ECMO was initiated for respiratory failure from March 1, 2020, to October 1, 2022. Exposures: ECMO in the setting of COVID-19 respiratory failure. Main outcome and measures: The primary outcome was maternal mortality. Secondary outcomes included serious maternal morbidity, obstetrical outcomes, and neonatal outcomes. Outcomes were compared by timing of infection during pregnancy or post partum, timing of ECMO initiation during pregnancy or post partum, and periods of circulation of SARS-CoV-2 variants. Results: From March 1, 2020, to October 1, 2022, 100 pregnant or postpartum individuals were started on ECMO (29 [29.0%] Hispanic, 25 [25.0%] non-Hispanic Black, 34 [34.0%] non-Hispanic White; mean [SD] age: 31.1 [5.5] years), including 47 (47.0%) during pregnancy, 21 (21.0%) within 24 hours post partum, and 32 (32.0%) between 24 hours and 6 weeks post partum; 79 (79.0%) had obesity, 61 (61.0%) had public or no insurance, and 67 (67.0%) did not have an immunocompromising condition. The median (IQR) ECMO run was 20 (9-49) days. There were 16 maternal deaths (16.0%; 95% CI, 8.2%-23.8%) in the study cohort, and 76 patients (76.0%; 95% CI, 58.9%-93.1%) had 1 or more serious maternal morbidity events. The largest serious maternal morbidity was venous thromboembolism and occurred in 39 patients (39.0%), which was similar across ECMO timing (40.4% pregnant [19 of 47] vs 38.1% [8 of 21] immediately postpartum vs 37.5% postpartum [12 of 32]; P > .99). Conclusions and Relevance: In this multicenter US cohort study of pregnant and postpartum patients who required ECMO for COVID-19-associated respiratory failure, most survived but experienced a high frequency of serious maternal morbidity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e2314678
JournalJAMA network open
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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