Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation in Patients With COVID-19

Jayakumar Sreenivasan, Sagar Ranka, Shubham Lahan, Ahmed Abu-Haniyeh, Heyi Li, Risheek Kaul, Aaqib Malik, Wilbert S. Aronow, William H. Frishman, Steven Lansman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is characterized by a clinical spectrum of diseases ranging from asymptomatic or mild cases to severe pneumonia with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) requiring mechanical ventilation. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) has been used as rescue therapy in appropriate patients with COVID-19 complicated by ARDS refractory to mechanical ventilation. In this study, we review the indications, challenges, complications, and clinical outcomes of ECMO utilization in critically ill patients with COVID-19-related ARDS. Most of these patients required venovenous ECMO. Although the risk of mortality and complications is very high among patients with COVID-19 requiring ECMO, it is similar to that of non-COVID-19 patients with ARDS requiring ECMO. ECMO is a resource-intensive therapy, with an inherent risk of complications, which makes its availability limited and its use challenging in the midst of a pandemic. Well-maintained data registries, with timely reporting of outcomes and evidence-based clinical guidelines, are necessary for the careful allocation of resources and for the development of standardized utilization protocols.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-133
Number of pages5
JournalCardiology in review
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • COVID-19
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • acute respiratory
  • distress syndrome
  • extracorporeal membrane oxygenation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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