Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in the treatment of respiratory failure in pediatric patients with burns

E. J. Pierre, J. B. Zwischenberger, C. Angel, J. Upp, J. Cortiella, A. Sankar, D. N. Herndon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) as a treatment for pulmonary failure from postshock respiratory distress in burned children recently has been shown to salvage patients who were thought to have more than a 90% chance of dying. We describe five burned children in whom severe respiratory failure - not responsive to medical management and maximal ventilatory support - developed, and who underwent ECMO treatment. Three (60%) cases involved flame burns, with significant inhalation injury as diagnosed after a bronchoscopy; mean age was 3 years (2 to 4 years), with a mean total body surface area (TBSA) burn of 32% (15% to 53%), mean third-degree burns of 25% (5% to 53%). Two (40%) cases involved scald burns; mean age was 6 years (7 months to 11 years), with a mean TBSA burn of 56.5% (43% to 70%), mean third- degree burns of 40% (10.5% to 70%). Outcome was poor for those burned children who received ECMO therapy after prolonged ventilatory support for smoke inhalation injury. Children who experience perfusion/reperfusion shock injury to the lungs as a result of delayed resuscitation of scald burns may have an improved chance of survival with short courses of ECMO regardless of the burn size.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-134
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Burn Care and Rehabilitation
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • General Nursing
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Rehabilitation
  • General Health Professions


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