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Cardiovascular collapse remains a leading cause of death in severe acute drug intoxication. Commonly prescribed medications such as antidysrhythmics, calcium channel antagonists, and beta adrenergic receptor antagonists can cause refractory cardiovascular collapse in massive overdose. Emergency cardiopulmonary bypass (ECPB), a modality originating in cardiac surgery, is a rescue technique that has been successfully implemented in the treatment of refractory cardiogenic shock and cardiac arrest unresponsive to traditional medical interventions. More recently a growing number of animal studies, case reports, and case series have documented its use in refractory hemodynamic collapse in poisoned patients. This article will review current ECPB techniques and explore its growing role in the treatment of severely hemodynamically compromised poisoned patients.


Nicholas J Johnson, David F Gaieski, Steven R Allen, Jeanmarie Perrone, Francis DeRoos. A review of emergency cardiopulmonary bypass for severe poisoning by cardiotoxic drugs. Journal of medical toxicology : official journal of the American College of Medical Toxicology. 2013 Mar;9(1):54-60

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PMID: 23238774

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