What is the role of ECMO in the treatment of drowning patients?

Updated: Jun 19, 2019
  • Author: G Patricia Cantwell, MD, FCCM; Chief Editor: Joe Alcock, MD, MS  more...
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Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) has been shown to be beneficial in selected patients. [93] ECMO may be considered in the following circumstances:

  • Respiratory compromise resulting from lack of response to conventional mechanical ventilation or high-frequency ventilation

  • A reasonable probability of the patient recovering neurologic function

  • Persistent hypothermia from cold-water drowning

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