The use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), accompanied by mechanical CPR, in patients with massive myocardial infarctions can lead to unexpected survival. These study findings are being presented March 9 at the American College of Cardiology Scientific Sessions.
ECMO is an advanced technology that functions as a replacement for a critically ill patient's heart and lungs. This is the first report of combined ECMO, mechanical CPR and therapeutic hypothermia (TH) use within a STEMI Network.
"For many patients who present with a severe heart attack, or ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI), complicated by cardiogenic shock that progresses to cardiac standstill, the result is almost uniformly fatal," says Michael R. Mooney, MD, a research cardiologist at the Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation (MHIF) and a physician at the Minneapolis Heart Institute- at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis. "This aggressive approach despite its complexity extends our ability to salvage the most devastating complication of acute MI."
The patients in this study were a consecutive series with STEMI meeting criteria for ECMO from August 2011 to October 2012. The Shock Team comprised of a perfusionist, an advanced heart failure cardiologist, an interventional cardiologist and a cardiac surgeon developed a protocol and a process for emergency ECMO (E-ECMO) in the CV lab. This same team was then used to implement E-ECMO.