ECMO benefit 'unclear' in COVID-19 critically ill

More data on outcomes for patients given the therapy is urgently needed, researchers say

Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) may not reduce mortality in critically ill patients with COVID-19, new findings suggest.

ECMO machine

US and Italian researchers analysed four studies including a total of 562 patients with COVID-19, 42% of whom developed acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

Some 17 of the patients with ARDS received ECMO, and their mortality rate was 94%, compared with 71% for the patients with ARDS given conventional therapy — however, the difference in mortality risk was not

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