Author(s): Maj G, De Bonis M, Pieri M, Melisurgo G, Pappalardo F
AIM: We describe a 1-year experience with extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation (ECPR) for in-hospital (IHCA) and out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) associated with intra-arrest hypothermia and normoxemia. METHODS: Since January 1st 2012, ECPR has been applied in our hospital to all patients less than 65 years of age and without major co-morbidities who develop refractory cardiac arrest (CA) with bystander CPR. Over a 1-year period of observation, we recorded 28-day survival with intact neurological outcome and the rate of organ donation. RESULTS: During the observational period, 24 patients were treated with ECPR, with a median age of 48 years. Ten patients had IHCA. Acute coronary syndrome and/or major arrhythmias were the main cause of arrest. Intra-arrest cooling was used in 17 patients; temperature on ECMO initiation in these patients was 32.9 °C [32-34]. The time from collapse to ECPR was 58 min [45-70] and was shorter in survivors than in non-survivors (41 min [39-58] vs. 60 min [55-77], p=0.059). Non-survivors were more likely to have coagulopathy and received more blood transfusions. Six patients (25%) survived with good neurological outcome at day 28. Four patients with irreversible brain damage had organ function suitable for donation. CONCLUSION: ECPR provided satisfactory survival rates with good neurologic recovery in refractory CA for both IHCA and OHCA. ECMO may help rapidly stabilise systemic haemodynamic status and restore organ function.