Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation outcomes in COVID-19 patients: Case series from the Brazilian COVID-19 Registry
MetadataShow full item record
Around 5% of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients develop critical disease, with severe pneumonia and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). In these cases, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) may be considered when conventional therapy fails. This study aimed to describe the clinical characteristics and in-hospital outcomes of COVID-19 patients with ARDS refractory to lung-protective ventilation and prone positioning on ECMO support, as well as to review the available literature on ECMO use and COVID-19 patients’ outcome. Patients from this case series were selected from the Brazilian COVID-19 Registry. From the 7646 patients included in the registry, only eight received ECMO support (0.1%), in four hospitals. The median age of the entire sample was 59 (interquartile range 54.2–64.4) years old and 87.5% were male. Hypertension (50.0%), diabetes mellitus (50.0%) and obesity (37.5%) were the most frequent comorbidities. The indications for ECMO were PaO2/FiO2 ratio <80 mm Hg for more than 6 h or PaO2/FiO2 ratio <60 mm Hg for more than 3 h. The mortality rate was 87.5%. In conclusion, in this case series of COVID-19 patients with ARDS refractory to conventional therapy who received ECMO support, a very high mortality was observed. Our findings are not different from previous studies including a small number of patients; however, there is a huge difference from Extracorporeal Life Support Organization results, which encourages us to keep looking for improvement.