Thorac Cardiovasc Surg
DOI: 10.1055/s-0040-1719156
Original Cardiovascular

COVID-19 Pulmonary Failure and Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation: First Experience from Three European Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Centers

1  Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, Deutsches Herzzentrum Berlin/Charité, Berlin, Germany
2  Department of International Relations, Pan-African Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery, Berlin, Germany
,
Richard Trimlett
3  Department of Cardiac Surgery, Royal Brompton Hospital, London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
,
Elena Sandoval
4  Department of Cardiac Surgery, Clinic Barcelona Hospital University, Barcelona, Spain
,
Christopher Lotz
5  Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, University Hospital Wurzburg, Wurzburg, Bayern, Germany
,
Stephane Ledot
6  Department of Intensive Care Medicine, Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust, London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
,
Jose Luis Pomar
4  Department of Cardiac Surgery, Clinic Barcelona Hospital University, Barcelona, Spain
7  Department of Cardiac Surgery, Barnaclinic, Barcelona, Spain
,
Susanna Price
8  Department of Cardiology and Intensive Care, Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Trust, London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
,
Patrick Meybohm
5  Department of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine, University Hospital Wurzburg, Wurzburg, Bayern, Germany
› Author Affiliations

Abstract

On April 17, 2020, a coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) webinar was held by selected international experts in the field of intensive care and specialized respiratory ECMO centers from Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom, which was hosted by the German Heart Centre Berlin/Charité. The experts shared their experience about the treatment of 42 patients with severe acute respiratory failure requiring venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VV-ECMO). Patients were predominantly male (male-to-female ratio: 3:1), with a mean age of 51 years (range: 25–73 years). VV-ECMO support was indicated in 30% of the ventilated COVID-19 patients. The mean time requiring mechanical ventilation was 16.5 days, with a mean duration of ECMO support of 10.6 days. At the time of the webinar, a total of 17 patients had already been decannulated from ECMO, whereas six died with multiorgan failure. 18 patients remained on ECMO, with their final outcomes unknown at the time of the webinar. Hospital mortality was 25.6% (as of April 17, 2020). In this respect, VV-ECMO, provided by expert centers, is a recognized and validated mode of advanced life-support during the recent COVID-19 pandemic with good outcomes.



Publication History

Received: 17 June 2020

Accepted: 17 September 2020

Publication Date:
13 November 2020 (online)

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