Multi-institutional Analysis of 200 COVID-19 Patients Treated With Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation: Outcomes and Trends

Jeffrey P. Jacobs, Alfred H. Stammers, James D. St Louis, J. W.Awori Hayanga, Michael S. Firstenberg, Linda B. Mongero, Eric A. Tesdahl, Keshava Rajagopal, Faisal H. Cheema, Kirti Patel, Tom Coley, Anthony K. Sestokas, Marvin J. Slepian, Vinay Badhwar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Background: The role of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) in the management of patients with COVID-19 continues to evolve. The purpose of this analysis is to review our multi-institutional clinical experience involving 200 consecutive patients at 29 hospitals with confirmed COVID-19 supported with ECMO. Methods: This analysis includes our first 200 COVID-19 patients with complete data who were supported with and separated from ECMO. These patients were cannulated between March 17 and December 1, 2020. Differences by mortality group were assessed using χ2 tests for categoric variables and Kruskal-Wallis rank sum tests and Welch's analysis of variance for continuous variables. Results: Median ECMO time was 15 days (interquartile range, 9 to 28). All 200 patients have separated from ECMO: 90 patients (45%) survived and 110 patients (55%) died. Survival with venovenous ECMO was 87 of 188 patients (46.3%), whereas survival with venoarterial ECMO was 3 of 12 patients (25%). Of 90 survivors, 77 have been discharged from the hospital and 13 remain hospitalized at the ECMO-providing hospital. Survivors had lower median age (47 versus 56 years, P <.001) and shorter median time from diagnosis to ECMO cannulation (8 versus 12 days, P =.003). For the 90 survivors, adjunctive therapies on ECMO included intravenous steroids (64), remdesivir (49), convalescent plasma (43), anti-interleukin-6 receptor blockers (39), prostaglandin (33), and hydroxychloroquine (22). Conclusions: Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation facilitates survival of select critically ill patients with COVID-19. Survivors tend to be younger and have a shorter duration from diagnosis to cannulation. Substantial variation exists in drug treatment of COVID-19, but ECMO offers a reasonable rescue strategy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1452-1460
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Thoracic Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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