ECMO - page 4
I have been an ECMO R.N. for three years working side by side with another R.N.( one runs the pump the other doing pt. care) Now the PICU is training Respiratory Therapists to manage the pump. Does... Read More
Feb 2, '08<P>Janfrn, I have to admit I envy you all the experience you have with ECMO!! We deal with adult patients only and ECMO is the last possible therapy we can offer as a heart support when other means fail to help. And we mostly privide A-V extracorporeal oxygenation. But as you can see, there are not many opportunities for the whole team to gain more experience, with just two or three cases per year occuring. But still, our OR perfusionists with a help from haematology specialist are now trying to work out some standards, too. I wish we'd had them before the first problems appeared!! </P>
<P>Is there any possibility I could have a look at your dept. standarts?? I would really appreciate it! </P>
<P>And one more question: Do you avoid using acetylsalycylate with ECMO patinents?</P>
<P><IMG alt=0 src="http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c399/annmon/emoticon%20pics/emoticon%20pics/tha_you1.gif" border=0 smilieid="383"></P>
Feb 2, '08Not sure which "New York hospitals" the poster upthread was referring to that use RRTs on pump, but I'm at the major peds hospital in NYC and we have an all-perfusionist staff. Our director of neonatology is interested in having RNs move into those positions a bit, so I'm working on a proposal to go to U of Mich's training program.
Feb 2, '08Oops, messed that one up. Let's try again.
I'll see what I can do about getting you a copy of our ECLS order sheets, polednice. They're pretty self-explanatory. I'm off for the weekend and work nights Monday. I should be able to grab some then.
Over the last couple of years we've started using ECMO for many more purposes than just bridge to transplant. Our long runs are usually for pulmonary reasons. And we've seen a real increase in the number of kids we are doing E-CPR for. They've had a prolonged cardiac arrest in the PICU, or the cath lab or out on the cardiology inpatient unit and are emergently cannulated in PICU while we see if the heart is salvageable. Sometimes it is and sometimes it isn't. Of those cases about half of them return to their baseline function within a few weeks after they're decannulated. The other half have a range of issues, from mild neurological deficits to death. One boy was resuscitated with E-CPR last month, transplanted last week and is showing signs of being just as he was before he got sick. Gotta love those ones.
This is a photo of our unit when we had three simultaneous runs. (That really eats up the resources, especially the human ones.)
Feb 3, '08Wow, that looks great, Janfrn!!! Really, I can only admire your skills and experience you achieve with working in such a place!!...but still I can't tell the difference between pediatric and our adult ECMO patients, because I'm new to ECMO in general. Now, the whole team is learning.
Our present patient is 41 years old male. He was admitted to our ward due to PAH, which couldn't be managed with both, conservative (Ventavis, Flolan) or operative (PEA) therapy. Curious thing is, that the PAH occured instantly (As the patient says, he just stopped to breathe, because it was far too exhausting.), from the complete health. (Well, there was just a minor flu he swears he cured according to his GP!) In fact, this man used to run at least 4 miles a day, did triathlon and many other sports, and passed medical tests for pilots half a year ago!!...anyway, his present PAP is 90 mmHg, and is high as his systolic arterial blood pressure by now. His right heart chambers are dilated and even less able to cope with almost completely obliterated pulmonary circulation. He was cannulated in an hour after his arrival to our ward, and ECMO was set on 3 liters/minute flow. The flow now had to be increased to 4.5 liters/minute, and still he could do with even higher flow. So, his only chance is the lung transplant...(Even if placed on the head position on the waiting list, still it lasts about 120 days to make it!)
Except the blood-clotting problem I've mentioned already, we have to deal with the patient himself. Being conscious, he is completely aware of everything happening to him, talking to us, watching TV as well as the tubing with blood and so on.
Well, there are certainly more problems to manage... not just with the oxygenator as it seems...
Feb 4, '08The basic principles of ECMO are the same no matter the size of the body. We've had neonates on and we've had older teenagers with grown-up bodies on and what we do is exactly the same. The differences will be in the reasons for going on ECMO. With kids it could be for cardiac reasons, obviously, or for things like severe asthma, respiratory failure from adenovirus, diaphragmatic hernia and other severe respiratory failures. Another difference is that we don't let the kids be too awake. It's enought aht we can assess neurological status every few hours then back to sleep. Because the circuits are sized to the patient, even a little agitation can affect their flows and all the rest of the "dominoes": oxygenation, cardiac output, tissue perfusion... And our flows are ordered in mls/kg/min. Full support would be considered 100 mls/kg/min for most patients. The need for deep sedation causes skin integrity problems, of course; the limited range we have for moving the kids only makes it harder. We usually put several layers of high-density foam under them so that they're protected from pressure somewhat and reposition what we can when we can.
Your patient is in a pretty precarious position isn't he? Lung transplants aren't done all that often here at all, so I can understand your difficulties. Keep up the good work!
Feb 7, '08Only RRT's run ECMO at Children's Hosp. Boston. There is an RN taking care of that aspect and 1 RRT that is the ECMO specialist who runs the circuit as well as the vents (Vent, Hi-Fi, and Nitric).
Feb 7, '08So, my patient was weaned from ECMO on Monday morning and I am really happy for him! It seems that his heart and lungs got enough rest and started to work satisfactorily. Yet it doesn't diminish his need for the "new" lungs. Being put in the international program Eurotransplant, the waiting period for him could last up to 120 days or longer, because he is the rare B negative type!
Now I am trying to put together all the new things I have learned during the time spent with the patient and ECMO... and put together all the problems that had to dealt with, to make sort of troubleshooting manual. I hope our pefusionists will help.
Thank you for help, Janfrn!!...I shall discuss taking ACT every hour and other coagulation factors as you do, with our team to make a standart out of it! We really do need some for the future patients!
Feb 7, '08You're most welcome. I wasn't able to access any order sheets when I worked Monday night but I'll have another chance on Saturday. Might take me a few days to get them scanned and ready for sending, but since your guy is decannulated, that's probably okay...
The waiting list for organs here is not short either. I was at the liver transplant clinic today with my son and one of the coordinators was saying that we're currently doing about 80 livers a year, but have over 300 on the list. The rare blood type thing is an "oh-that's-good-oh-that's-bad" scenario. It can mean a VERY long wait, or it can mean receiving a transplant before the really bad times arrive. The winter that my son had his transplant, there was a little girl with glycogen storage disease type IV who had AB negative blood on the list even though she was still at home, on no meds and thriving. She had been listed because they knew she'd eventually reach end-stage but because of her blood type she'd probably wait a long time. Well, she was transplanted in early April and went home May 8th. Amazing.
Feb 8, '08Oh, what you have written is so full of HOPE!!
... I can't be thankful enough for it and for the effort you put into scanning those standards of your ward!!
Today I discussed the matter with my dpt manager, her reaction was more than encouraging and she promissed to help me. What I actually hope for is to put together a team of my colleague nurses with some experience with ECMO, perfusionists and doctors... and use your standards as a guidance... to make our own. To make all members of the team as knowledgeable as they need to be, and what more, to set clear goals in every aspect of care and how to achieve them according to the needs of our patients. Taking into consideration the enviroment of our department and all the resourses we have, of course.
Well, I must confess I'm feeling a little bit foolish... I'm feeling like a kid who's been given an expensive musical instrument...and who learns to play it in a symphony orchestra.
Thank you once more..!!
Feb 8, '08It sounds like you're taking on a very worthwhile project! I'm thrilled to be able to help you with it. The world needs more people, never mind nurses(!), who see a need and find a way to fill it. I wish you much success, both with developing your program and with improving outcomes for your patients. That's really what it's all about.
Feb 9, '08We have very good results at my facility which covers NICU and PICU ECMO cases. Our stats are very good compared to the national averages.
Feb 10, '08Quote from floydandsusieis this at Cook?We have very good results at my facility which covers NICU and PICU ECMO cases. Our stats are very good compared to the national averages.
is the ECMO team composed of RNs and RTs?
Feb 10, '08Good news for my little "project"!! My colleagues and the head doctor of our ward got interested, too!!!...spending Friday and the whole weekend at work with them (We've got 12 hrs shifts, days and nights.), I've had enough time to survey, what do they all think about such an enterprise.. and.. what I've got was a very positive response, even from the doc!! He, too, admitted we've got plenty to learn about ECMO and that we do need a system for its management!! I know he will be very willing to contribute... so, they all are prepared to support our future guidelines for using it!!
..so, I just have to go on with searching the web for any piece of information available to expand the stock of targets we already have for the nursing care. And with a contribution other members of our team, nurses, docs and perfusionists... and your "guidance"... it might work.
PS:Thanks for your support, too!!