Use of extracorporeal life support to support patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome due to H1N1/2009 influenza and other respiratory infections.Perfusion. 2011 Jan; 26(1):7-20.P
A large proportion of critically ill H1N1/2009 patients with respiratory failure subsequently developed ARDS and, to date, about 400 patients receiving extracorporeal life support (ECLS) have been accounted for globally, with a reported survival rate from 63% to 79%. The survival rates of patients with ARDS due to non-H1N1/2009 infections are similar. There is no definite evidence to suggest that patient outcomes are changed by ECLS, but its use is associated with serious short-term complications. ECLS relies on an extracorporeal circuit, with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) and pumpless interventional lung assist (ILA) being the two major types employed in ARDS. Both have the potential to correct respiratory failure and related haemodynamic instability. There are only a very limited number of clinical trials to test either and, although ECLS has been used in treating H1N1/2009 patients with ARDS with some success, it should only be offered in the context of clinical trials and in experienced centres.