Traumatic Transradial Forearm Amputation Temporized With Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation: A Brief Report

Erik M. Hegeman, Miles W.A. Fisher, Daniel J. Cognetti, Benjamin F. Plucknette, Joseph F. Alderete, David Wilson, Marlin Wayne Causey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is typically used to provide mechanical perfusion and gas exchange to critically ill patients with cardiopulmonary failure. We present a case of a traumatic high transradial amputation in which the amputated limb was placed on ECMO to allow for limb perfusion during bony fixation and preparations and coordination of orthopedic and vascular soft tissue reconstructions. Materials and Methods: This is a descriptive single case report which underwent managment at a level 1 trauma center. Instutional review board (IRB) approval was obtained. Results: This case highlights many important factors of limb salvage. First, complex limb salvage requires a well-organized, preplanned multi-disciplinary approach to optimize patient outcomes. Second, advancements in trauma resuscitation and reconstructive techniques over the past 20 years have drastically expanded the ability of treating surgeons to preserve limbs that would have otherwise been indicated for amputation. Lastly, which will be the focus of further discussion, ECMO and EP have a role in the limb salvage algorithm to extend current timing limitations for ischemia, allow for multidisciplinary planning, and prevent reperfusion injury with increasing literature to support its use. Conclusions: ECMO is an emerging technology that may have clinical utility for traumatic amputations, limb salvage, and free flap cases. In particular, it may extend current limitations of ischemia time and reduce the incidence of ischemia reperfusion injury in proximal amputation, thus expanding the current indications for proximal limb replantation. It is clear that developing a multi-disciplinary limb salvage team with standardized treatment protocols is paramount to optimize patient outcomes and allows limb salvage to be pursued in increasingly complex cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E27-E33
JournalMilitary medicine
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2024
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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