Infections in patients with burn injuries receiving extracorporeal membrane oxygenation

Joseph E. Marcus*, Lydia C. Piper, Craig R. Ainsworth, Valerie G. Sams, Andriy Batchinsky, Jason F. Okulicz, Alice E. Barsoumian

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Introduction: Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) has only recently been described in patients with burn injuries. We report the incidence and type of infections in critically ill burn and non-burn patients receiving ECMO. Methods: A retrospective chart review was performed on all patients at Brooke Army Medical Center who received ECMO between September 2012 and May 2018. Results: 78 patients underwent ECMO. Approximately half were men with a median age of 34 years with a median time on ECMO of 237 h (IQR 121–391). Compared to patients without burns (n = 58), patients with burns (n = 20) had no difference in time on ECMO, but had more overall infections (86 vs. 31 per 1000 days, p = 0.0002), respiratory infections (40 vs. 15 per 1000 days, p = 0.01), skin and soft tissue infections (21 vs. 5 per 1000 days, p = 0.02) and fungal infections (35% vs 10%, p = 0.02). Twenty percent of bacterial burn infections were due to drug resistant organisms. Conclusion: This is the first study to describe the incidence of infection in burn injury patients who are undergoing ECMO. We observed an increase in infections in burn patients on ECMO compared to non-burn patients. ECMO remains a viable option for critically ill patients with burn injuries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1880-1887
Number of pages8
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Antibiotic resistant organisms
  • Burn
  • ECMO
  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
  • Infection
  • Invasive fungal infections


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