Mechanical ventilation during extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. An international survey.Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2014 Jul; 11(6):956-61.AA
In patients with severe, acute respiratory failure undergoing venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VV-ECMO), the optimal strategy for mechanical ventilation is unclear.
Our objective was to describe ventilation practices used in centers registered with the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO).
We conducted an international cross-sectional survey of medical directors and ECMO program coordinators from all ELSO-registered centers. The survey was distributed using a commercial website that collected information on center characteristics, the presence of a mechanical ventilator protocol, ventilator settings, and weaning practices. E-mails were sent out to medical directors or coordinators at each ELSO center and their responses were pooled for analysis.
MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS
We analyzed 141 (50%) individual responses from the 283 centers contacted across 28 countries. Only 27% of centers reported having an explicit mechanical ventilation protocol for ECMO patients. The majority of these centers (77%) reported "lung rest" to be the primary goal of mechanical ventilation, whereas 9% reported "lung recruitment" to be their ventilation strategy. A tidal volume of 6 ml/kg or less was targeted by 76% of respondents, and 58% targeted a positive end-expiratory pressure of 6-10 cm H2O while ventilating patients on VV-ECMO. Centers prioritized weaning VV-ECMO before mechanical ventilation.
Although ventilation practices in patients supported by VV-ECMO vary across ELSO centers internationally, the majority of centers used a strategy that targeted lung-protective thresholds and prioritized weaning VV-ECMO over mechanical ventilation.