Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation and Interfacility Transfer: A Regional Referral Experience

David N. Ranney, Desiree Bonadonna, Babatunde A. Yerokun, Michael S. Mulvihill, Nawar Al-Rawas, Michael Weykamp, Rathnayaka M. Gunasingha, Raquel R. Bartz, John C. Haney, Mani A. Daneshmand*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Background The number of adults referred to high-volume centers for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is increasing. Outcomes of patients requiring transport are not well characterized, and referral guidelines are lacking. This study describes the experience and outcomes of a single high-volume center. Methods A retrospective study was performed that included adults undergoing ECMO between June 2009 and December 2015. Patient characteristics and outcomes were acquired from the medical record. Logistic regression was used to identify predictors of survival to hospital discharge. The Kaplan-Meier method was used to depict rates of survival. Results Of 133 patients, 77 (57.9%) underwent venoarterial (VA) ECMO and 56 (42.1%) underwent venovenous (VV) ECMO. Median transport distance was 88.8 miles (range 0.2–1,434 miles). Median duration of support was 6 days (range, 1–32.5 days). Age older than 60 years, pulmonary hypertension, and body mass index (BMI) greater than 30 were associated with worse survival to discharge for VA ECMO; a history of hypertension and presence of left ventricular (LV) vent were associated with better survival. Age older than 60 years and diabetes were associated with worse survival to hospital discharge for VV ECMO. Survival to decannulation was 66.2% and 76.8%, and to hospital discharge it was 48.1% and 69.6% for VA and VV ECMO, respectively. Of hospital survivors, Kaplan-Meier estimates of 1-year survival were 82.4% and 95.5% for VA and VV, respectively. Conclusions Outcomes are favorable after transport to high-volume ECMO centers. Guidelines and infrastructure for short- and long-distance ECMO transport is imperative for the efficient and successful management of these patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1471-1478
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes


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