Successful management of adult smoke inhalation with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.J Burn Care Rehabil. 2005 Jan-Feb; 26(1):62-6.JB
Pulmonary complications remain one of the leading causes of mortality in patients with burns. We report two cases of adult patients with thermal and inhalation injuries who were placed on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) and survived. Patient 1 was a 42-year-old male who suffered 15% TBSA and a severe inhalation injury requiring intubation upon arrival to the emergency department. Patient 2 was a 24-year-old female in a house fire who received 20%TBSA and was noted to be in respiratory distress and intubated on the scene by the paramedic team. Three days after admission, patient 1 developed severe respiratory failure. He decompensated, despite maximum conventional management, and was placed on ECMO. After 300 hours of ECMO, his pulmonary function had improved, and he was decannulated. Patient 2 also developed severe refractory respiratory failure and was placed on ECMO. She was decannulated 288 hours later. Both patients were discharged home shortly afterwards and have managed well. ECMO should be considered when patients are facing a respiratory death from inhalation injury on conventional mechanical ventilation.