Extracorporeal Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (ECPR): Initiation and Surgical Technique in the Pediatric Population

James D. St. Louis, Mark D. Plunkett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Surgical outcomes in the field of congenital heart surgery have dramatically improved over the last several decades. This success has led to sicker and more complex children presenting for major corrective surgery. Extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation (ECPR) in form of mechanical circulatory support that has become an integral service of most congenital heart programs; the concept of ECPR is essentially the rapid and effective initiation of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), usually at the bedside and often on an infant who has just undergone repair of a complex congenital heart defect. The financial resources and personnel that must be dedicated to an ECPR program exceed those of routine ECMO programs and must be justified relative to the surgical complexity that a particular institution chooses to offer its patients. With the appropriate dedication of resources and personnel, ECPR has been shown to improve postoperative survival as compared to outcomes when this service is not available.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)176-186
Number of pages11
JournalOperative Techniques in Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Cannulation
  • Cardiopulmonary arrest
  • Extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation (ECPR)
  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)
  • Mechanical circulatory assist devices

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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