CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · J Card Crit Care 2017; 1(02): 65-71
DOI: 10.1055/s-0038-1626674
Review Article
Thieme Medical and Scientific Publishers Private Ltd. 2017

Extracorporeal Circulatory/Life Support: An Update

Justiaan L. C. Swanevelder
1  Department of Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine, University of Cape Town, Groote Schuur and Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospitals, Cape Town, South Africa
Richard K. Firmin
2  Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Heart Link Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) Centre, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Leicester, United Kingdom
› Author Affiliations

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Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
07 March 2018 (online)



The evolution of extracorporeal life support technology has added a new advanced dimension to intensive care management of acute cardiac and/or respiratory failure in neonatal, pediatric, and adult patients who fail conventional treatment. ECMO has been a controversial subject within the intensive care community for many years. Perceptions have, however, changed positively over the past decade due to a need for improved management of these groups of patients, technological advances, and evolving evidence. As is common with many emerging therapies, its optimal use is currently not fully backed by quality evidence.