Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) is a rapidly progressive form of acute respiratory failure characterized by severe hypoxemia and non-hydrostatic pulmonary edema. Currently, lung protective ventilation strategy is the standard of care for management of ARDS. Despite the best efforts, correction of hypoxemia remains a challenge in these patients. There is significant morbidity and mortality associated with syndrome. ECMO is a form of mechanical system, which can maintain oxygenation even without involvement of lungs and appears ideal for ARDS patients with refractory hypoxemia. It is important for all critical care physicians to understand various aspects of ECMO and the level of evidence of its utility. We performed a literature search through PubMed search engine using key words “ECMO,” “Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation,” “ECCO2 R,” “Extracorporeal CO2 Removal” AND “ARDS,” or “ALI,” or “Acute Respiratory Failure,” or “Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome,” or “Acute Lung Injury.” In this article, we report the summary of the current evidence for utility of ECMO for ARDS. The article also highlights few other aspects of ECMO, which all critical care physicians should know.
Rohit Kumar and Vijay Hadda
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