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This article has been peer reviewed. It is the authors' final version prior to publication in The Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery

Volume 150, Issue 5, November 2015, Pages 1344–1349.

The published version is available at DOI: 10.1016/j.jtcvs.2015.07.061 Copyright © The American Association for Thoracic Surgery


OBJECTIVE: Despite advances in medical care, survival to discharge and full neurologic recovery after cardiac arrest remains less than 20% after cardiopulmonary resuscitation. An alternate approach to traditional cardiopulmonary resuscitation is extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation, which places patients on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation during cardiopulmonary resuscitation and provides immediate cardiopulmonary support when traditional resuscitation has been unsuccessful. We report the results from extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation at the Thomas Jefferson University.

METHODS: Between 2010 and June 2014, 107 adult extracorporeal membrane oxygenation procedures were performed at the Thomas Jefferson University. Patient demographics, survival to discharge, and neurologic recovery of patients who underwent extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation were retrospectively analyzed with institutional review board approval.

RESULTS: A total of 23 patients (15 male and 8 female; mean age, 46 ± 12 years) underwent extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation. All patients who met criteria were placed on 24-hour hypothermia protocol (target temperature 33°C) with initiation of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. The mean duration of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support was 6.2 ± 5.5 days. Nine patients died while on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation from the following causes: anoxic brain injury (4), stroke (4), and bowel necrosis (1). Two patients with anoxic brain injury on extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation donated multiple organs for transplant. The survival to discharge was 30% (7/23 patients) with approximately 100% full neurologic recovery.

CONCLUSIONS: The extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation procedure provided reasonable patient recovery. Extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation also allowed for neurologic recovery and made multiorgan procurement possible. On the basis of the survival, extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation should be considered when determining the optimal treatment path for patients who need cardiopulmonary resuscitation. The proper use of extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation improved the hospital outcomes for patients with in-hospital cardiac arrest.

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