Research: Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation: The First 10 Years Experience of a Portuguese Pediatric Intensive Care Unit

Observational Study Acta Med Port

. 2021 Jun 1;34(6):435-441. doi: 10.20344/amp.15227. Epub 2021 Jun 1.

Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation: The First 10 Years Experience of a Portuguese Pediatric Intensive Care Unit

Daniel Meireles 1Francisco Abecasis 2Leonor Boto 2Cristina Camilo 2Miguel Abecasis 3José Pedro Neves 3Zélia Cristo Soares 2Marisa Vieira 2Affiliations expand

Abstract in English, Portuguese

Introduction: In Portugal, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is used in pediatric patients since 2010. The aim of this study was to describe the clinical characteristics of patients, indications, complications and mortality associated with the use of ECMO during the first 10-years of experience in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit located in Centro Hospitalar Universitário Lisboa Norte.

Material and methods: Retrospective observational cohort study of all patients supported with ECMO in a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, from the 1st of May 2010 up to 31st December 2019.

Results: Sixty-five patients were included: 37 neonatal (≤ 28 days of age) and 28 pediatric patients (> 28 days). In neonatal cases, congenital diaphragmatic hernia was the main reason for ECMO (40% of neonatal patients and 23% of total). Among pediatric patients, respiratory distress was the leading indication for ECMO (47% of total). The median length of ECMO support was 12 days. Clinical complications were more frequent than mechanical complications (65% vs 35%). Among clinical complications, access site bleeding was the most prevalent with 38% of cases. The overall patient survival was 68% at the time of discharge (65% for neonatal and 71% for pediatric cases), while the overall survival rate in Extracorporeal Life Support Organization registry was 61%. The number of ECMO runs has been increasing since 2011, even though in a non-linear way (three cases in 2010 to 11 cases in 2019).

Discussion: In the first 10 years we received patients from all over the country. Despite continuous technological developments, circuitrelated complications have a significant impact. The overall survival rate in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit was not inferior to the one reported by the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization.

Conclusion: The overall survival of our Pediatric Intensive Care Unit is not inferior to one reported by other international centers. Our experience showed the efficacy of the ECMO technique in a Portuguese centre.

Keywords: Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation; Intensive Care Units, Pediatric; Portugal.

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