Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Watershed
A 55-year-old, previously healthy man was admitted to another hospital with deep-venous thrombosis in both legs and massive pulmonary embolism verified by chest computed tomography (CT). He presented with severe dyspnea and hypotension refractory to inotropes. Fibrinolytic therapy with recombinant tissue plasminogen activator was initiated, but the patient further deteriorated and required cardiopulmonary resuscitation for a period of 30 minutes. After return of spontaneous circulation, he remained in cardiogenic shock despite the use of inotropes and vasopressors, which is why our hospital was contacted.
Our mobile extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) team was dispatched and the patient received veno-arterial ECMO support with a 24 French venous cannula inserted via the right femoral vein and advanced into the right atrium and a 17 French arterial cannula inserted into the right femoral artery and advanced into the right iliacal artery. With an ECMO blood flow of 4.5 L/min, hemodynamics stabilized and the patient was transported to Hannover Medical School. Here, the patient was mechanically ventilated with an inspiratory oxygen fraction of 1.0 …