How ECMO can rescue patients with COVID-19: report

US cardiothoracic surgeons share their experience of a series of 40 patients

Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) allows early extubation of patients with COVID-19 who have severe respiratory failure, US doctors report.

ECMO machine

ECMO has proven useful for treating acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), but its use has not been well documented in patients with COVID-19 for whom mechanical ventilatory support is insufficient.

A research letter in JAMA Surgery describes 40 such patients, ages 22-64, treated with single-access, dual-stage, venovenous ECMO.

All 40