Most patients who require extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) for severe COVID-19 survive, according to an international registry.
Estimated 90-day in-hospital mortality was 37.4%, and mortality among those who completed their hospitalization (final disposition of death or discharge) was 39%.
“These data from 213 hospitals worldwide provide a generalizable estimate of ECMO mortality in the setting of COVID-19,” wrote Ryan Barbaro, MD, of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues reporting the findings in The Lancet. The data were also presented at the virtual Extracorporeal Life Support Organization meeting.
Early reports of ECMO use in COVID-19 suggested that mortality could be greater than 90%, leading some to recommend withholding it, the group noted. More recent reports have suggested higher success rates, albeit with small numbers.
“Considering the severity of hypoxemia in patients requiring ECMO, I’m intrigued by noting that at least 40% (if probably not more) had some