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Increased Survival after Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) in Children with Cardiac Disease


PI: Constantinos Chrysostomou, MD

Funding: Institutional Funds


In children with cardiac disease ECMO has been used during cardiac arrest unresponsive to conventional CPR (E-CPR), in the cardiac operating room for failure to separate from cardiopulmonary bypass (OR-ECMO) and for low cardiac output syndrome (LCOS-ECMO). Though a life-saving intervention, the so far reported survival after ECMO ranges only from 38-51%.


In this study we have reviewed our experience with ECMO support in patients with cardiac disease between 1/2006 – 12/2010. Outcomes included hospital and 28-day survival and transition to ventricular assist device (VAD) or transplant.

In these series there were 102 ECMO runs in 98 patients (41 E-CPR, 31 OR-ECMO and 26 LCOS-ECMO). The overall hospital survival was an impressive 76% and 28-day survival was 78%.


We are in the process of evaluating our approach of CPR and ECMO in an attempt to identify the similarities and differences from other ECMO centers and explain our superior survival. This increased survival was seen in all of our 3 groups including the E-CPR group where survival was > 75%.