1. Any success stories of adult patient's that survived because of ECMO?
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    About nrsen99

    Joined: Jul '99; Posts: 20
    Registered Nurse


  3. by   Tleeves
    Sorry to say, most of what I have heard about ECMO surrounds neonates, we don't even have ECMO for the adult units. Although we are getting it for the Peds ICU, I would love to hear Adult ECMO success stories too.
  4. by   nrsen99
    As a matter of fact. I have a great success story of a 29 year old male who survived a massive trauma. Due to this trauma, he suffered major damage to his lungs and had to be put on ECMO. He live with ECMO for over 3 weeks. Almost a world's record for an adult. He almost died many times and survived only because of this machine along with a miracle from God. Let me know if you want to know more details.
  5. by   SICURN
    I too, have never known anyone to survive ECMO. But,I did help care for a patient who survived the Abio BVS (biventricular assist device). She acutally walked out of the hospital and is still alive and well after three years.
  6. by   halesm

    You mention the Bivad. I am seeking an observation form template for patients requiring Bivad +/- cell saver. Could anyone help?
  7. by   nurseyperson
    I have a success story from about 8 years ago. Pt was a Pulmonologist treating himself for URI, turned into pneumonia (Strep B as far as I remember). Ended up going into ARDS, DIC, multi-system organ failure, dialysis, you name it. SVO2 was around 30 when we barely turned him (I remember 28 and sats in the 60 to 70s)
    02s would significantly drop when the peritoneal dialysis fluid would fill up in his abd. also. Had pressure sores in DAYS on his head, along with all other pressure points. He was a 3:1 patient for days...cont dialysis, every blood product, multiple drips, you name it...2 RNs and one ?CRNA for ECMO. (Was a long time ago!) ECMO got enough O2 into his system to help him get over it. He was also a healthy/fit 50 year old, which I am sure helped. Was in ICU for a couple months. Had residual extremity neurovascular problems from the clots from DIC and generalized weakness and decreased lung and kidney function, but was going back to work part time about 4 months after the initial illness. No doubt he would have died without the ECMO.


    [This message has been edited by nurseyperson (edited March 12, 2000).]
  8. by   Sheree Jordan
    I can not believe the responses here. There ARE Adult ECMO survivors. The survival is about 40-50%, although it is lower than the neonatal population these patients tend to be much sicker. I work at one of the few predominatly adult centers in the US. I am from the center at LSUMC in Shreveport, Louisiana and I know that Michigan also has similar survival rates in their adult population. Our survivors have been anywhere from 18-60 years of age. We have had survivors with Ashthma, Legionella, other atypical pneumonias, and other diseases that cause ARDS. We have also had excellent results with obstetric patients. One of our survivors actually delivered on ECMO.
    Adult ECMO is a little more work than neonates and the survival rate is not as good. There is also ongoing research for adults with ARDS to increase their survival rates (liquid ventilation, AVCOR). But YES, you do help people and within 6 months their lung function is back to normal.
  9. by   Seeyou2
    There have been some Ecmo adult well as children, teens and infants. To read their stories go to
  10. by   jherman
    We had a 35 yo male that had a pneumonectomy and subsequently went into ARDS. Was on ECMO 2-3 weeks. Spent another 5 months in the ICU, but eventually went home to see his then 1.5 year old son. (He got sick when the baby was just 3 or 4 months old)

  11. by   nilepoc
    Our hospital does many adult ECMO cases a year. I believe we are one of the only facilities doing it fo Hanta Virus. While I won't say that we have a stellar success rate, there are definaltely adult patients that owe their lives to the ECMO machine, and the dedicated nurses and physicians that cared for them.
  12. by   cacatrn
    What exactly is an ECMO machine. How does it work and how often. What is supposed to take place physiologically?
  13. by   prmenrs
    Ok. I have a question.

    We have avoided ECMO sometimes in neonates by using Hi-frequency oscillation; we also have experimentally used surfactant on these usually term kids. There was even one child they did a "washout" w/ surfactant--it worked on that one, but I've never seen them do it again.

    Now the REASON they do ECMO in babies usually is meconium-aspiration (adults hardly EVER get that, I hope ) and persistant fetal circulation (more blood going to the body w/o a pick-up in the lungs, ductus and foramen remain open, shunts blood L to R).

    Does that jive w/why they'd need to do ECMO in an adult? If not, can you expain it to me? Inquiring minds want to know!!

    Thanks, all
  14. by   jmccrn
    We have had a few ECMO survivors in the unit I used to work in. Of course more died than survived, but nonetheless there were some survivors who made it out of the hospital.
    My current hospital doesn't do adult ECMO. We currently have a gentleman in my current unit who has apparently set the record for the longest time on an Abiomed. A Heartmate was inserted this week so hopefully he'll eventually make it out of the ICU.