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    Extra Corporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is one of the most advanced forms of life support therapy in the Intensive Care Unit. It relies on the principle where an external artificial circuit carries venous blood from the patient to a gas exchange device (oxygenator) within which blood becomes enriched with oxygen and has carbon dioxide removed. The blood is then returned to the patient via a central vein or an artery. The goal of ECMO is to provide a physiologic milieu for recovery in refractory cardiac/respiratory failure. The technology is not a definitive treatment for a disease, but provides valuable time for the body to recover. In that way it can be compared to a bridge, where patients are initiated on ECMO as a bridge to recovery, bridge to decision making, bridge to transplant or bridge to diagnosis. The use of this modality in children is not backed by a lot of randomized controlled trials, but the use has increased dramatically in our country in last 10 years. This article is not intended to provide an in-depth overview of ECMO, but outlines the basic principles that a pediatric intensive care physician should know in order to manage a kid on ECMO support.

    Citation

    Shubhadeep Das, Sandip Gupta, Debasis Das, Nilanjan Dutta. Basics of extra corporeal membrane oxygenation: a pediatric intensivist's perspective. Perfusion. 2021 Mar 26:2676591211005260


    PMID: 33765881

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