Extracorporeal life support in thoracic emergencies-a narrative review of current evidence

A. Willers*, S. Mariani, J.M. Maessen, R. Lorusso, J. Swol

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review

Abstract

Background and Objective: Resuscitative therapies for respiratory and cardiac failure are lifesaving and extended by using extracorporeal life support (ECLS) as mechanical circulatory support (MSC). This review informs the debate to identify the life-threatening thoracic emergencies in which patients may be cannulated for ECLS support.Methods: An advanced search was performed in PubMed, Embase, Google Scholar, and references query, assessed in June 2022, identified 761 records. Among them, 74 publications in English were included in the current narrative review.Key Content and Findings: ECLS is an additional tool for organ support in life-threatening thoracic emergencies. It provides bridging to recovery or to decision about destination as definitive therapy, intervention, or surgery. Non-traumatic emergencies include mediastinal mass, acute lung injury (ALI), aspiration, embolisms, acute and chronic heart failure. However, based on the current evidence, trauma, and especially blunt thoracic trauma, is one of the main indications for ECLS use in thoracic emergencies, among others in chest wall fractures, blunt and penetrating lung injuries. ECLS use is always individualized to patient's needs, injury pattern and kind of organ failure, circulatory arrest inclusive, depending on if respiratory or cardiac and circulatory support is needed. Further, ECLS offers the possibility for fast volume resuscitation and rewarming, thus preventing the lethal of trauma: hypothermia, hypoperfusion and acidosis. Anticoagulation may be omitted for some hours or days. Interdisciplinary cooperation between the intensivists, surgeons, anesthesiologists, emergency medical services, an appropriately organized and trained staff, equipment resources and logistical planning are essential for successful outcomes.Conclusions: ECLS use in selected life-threatening thoracic emergencies is increasing. The summarized findings appeal to policymakers, and we hope that our summary of recommendations may impact clinical practice and research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4076-4089
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Thoracic Disease
Volume15
Issue number7
Early online date1 Apr 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2023

Keywords

  • Thoracic emergencies
  • extracorporeal life support (ECLS)
  • extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)
  • hemorrhage
  • trauma
  • RESPIRATORY-DISTRESS-SYNDROME
  • CORPOREAL MEMBRANE-OXYGENATION
  • TRAUMA-INDUCED COAGULOPATHY
  • SINGLE-CENTER
  • IMPROVES SURVIVAL
  • BURN PATIENTS
  • CHEST TRAUMA
  • INJURY
  • FAILURE
  • MANAGEMENT

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