Podcast #400: ECMO - The Emergency Medical Minute

Author: Dylan Luyten, MD

Educational Pearls:


  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is similar to bypass
  • ECMO is being utilized routinely at some centers and even prehospital in cardiac arrest
  • There are two general types of ECMO:
    • Venovenous (VV-ECMO) is useful when the patient cannot oxygenate but has adequate heart function.
    • Venoarterial (VA-ECMO) is more like typical bypass and can be used in a pulseless patient



Ouweneel DM, Schotborgh JV, Limpens J, Sjauw KD, Engström AE, Lagrand WK, Cherpanath TGV, Driessen AHG, de Mol BAJM, Henriques JPS. Extracorporeal life support during cardiac arrest and cardiogenic shock: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Intensive Care Med. 2016 Dec;42(12):1922-1934. doi: 10.1007/s00134-016-4536-8. Epub 2016 Sep 19. Review. PubMed PMID: 27647331; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5106498.

Tonna JE, Johnson NJ, Greenwood J, Gaieski DF, Shinar Z, Bellezo JM, Becker L, Shah AP, Youngquist ST, Mallin MP, Fair JF 3rd, Gunnerson KJ, Weng C, McKellar S; Extracorporeal REsuscitation ConsorTium (ERECT) Research Group.. Practice characteristics of Emergency Department extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation (eCPR) programs in the United States: The current state of the art of Emergency Department extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ED ECMO). Resuscitation. 2016 Oct;107:38-46. doi: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2016.07.237. Epub 2016 Aug 11. PubMed PMID: 27523953; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5475402.


Summary by Travis Barlock, MS4  | Edited by Erik Verzemnieks, MD

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