Extracorporeal life support (ECLS) for children and adults

Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research
Record ID 31998008928
Authors' objectives: This project was undertaken in response to a request about the use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) on a 14 year old boy pending availability of a suitable donor heart for transplantation. An article by Kolla et al [full reference in report] had suggested that extracorporeal life support (ECLS) not be used as a bridge to transplantation because the likelihood of finding a suitable donor is remote. This raised concern about when it is appropriate to use ECLS in older children and adults.
Authors' recommendations: ECLS continues to be used in older children and adults as a technique in the management of severely compromised patients with a poor chance of survival. The quality of the available evidence of benefit remains limited and there is not a consensus regarding its appropriate use. ECLS appears to be a useful option in the management of appropriately-selected patients, at centres with experience in its application. Decisions on its use as a bridge to transplantation would need to take account of availability of donor organs, probable deterioration of the patient when use of ECLS is prolonged, and overall demand for transplantation within the health care system.
Authors' methods: Review
Project Status: Completed
Year Published: 1997
English language abstract: An English language summary is available
Publication Type: Not Assigned
Country: Canada
MeSH Terms
  • Child
  • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation
  • Life Support Care
  • Life Support Systems
  • Organ Transplantation
Organisation Name: Institute of Health Economics
Contact Address: 1200, 10405 Jasper Avenue, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T5J 3N4. Tel: +1 780 448 4881; Fax: +1 780 448 0018;
Contact Name: djuzwishin@ihe.ca
Contact Email: djuzwishin@ihe.ca
Copyright: Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research
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