Is ECMO end of life?
Yes! Dying patients on ECMO can have all the symptoms and needs of any patient at the end of life. However, pallative care teams are not often involved (even in the ventricular assist device population, after the acute inpatient phase).
Are patients awake on ECMO?
The use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) in awake, spontaneously breathing patients (sometimes called “awake ECMO”) has been used for over a decade as a bridge for patients awaiting lung transplants.
Does ECMO cause brain damage?
It is associated with acute central nervous system complications and with long- term neurologic morbidity. Many patients treated with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) have acute neurologic complications, including seizures, hemorrhage, infarction, and brain death.
Is ECMO successful?
Within the “early adopter” centers, mortality rates increased from 37% in the months before May, to 52% after May. At the centers that didn’t start providing ECMO until at least May, 58% of the patients died within 90 days of being placed on an ECMO circuit.
How long is the average patient on ECMO?
May 1 was chosen because the evidence for how best to treat critically ill COVID-19 patients had evolved considerably by then. “What we noticed right away is that the patients treated later in the pandemic were staying on ECMO longer, going from an average of 14 days to 20 days.
What happens when ECMO is removed?
Discontinuing ECMO requires a surgical procedure to remove the tubes. Multiple tests are usually done prior to the discontinuation of ECMO therapy to confirm that your heart and lungs are ready. Once the ECMO cannulas are removed, the vessels will need to be repaired.
When on ECMO are you on a ventilator?
Patients who are on ECMO are already connected to a ventilator (breathing machine) through a tube (endotracheal or ET tube) that is placed in the mouth or nose and down into the windpipe. They are thus intubated.
Can ECMO cause a brain bleed?
Rationale: Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) use has exploded over the last decade. However, it remains invasive and associated with significant complications, including tamponade, infection, thrombosis, gas embolism and bleeding. The most dreaded complication is intracranial hemorrhage (ICH).
How is the diagnosis of brain death made?
Proper and precise documentation of physical examination, apnea test, and ancillary test findings performed to diagnose brain death. A physician who has sufficient expertise should assess brain death.
How is a transcranial ultrasound used to confirm brain death?
Transcranial ultrasound: Can be used to assess pulsations of middle cerebral arteries, vertebral and basilar arteries bilaterally, also anterior cerebral arteries or ophthalmic arteries if possible. The transcranial US can confirm brain death by showing small peaked systolic pulsations or the absence of diastolic pulsations.
What is the pathophysiology of cerebral oxygenation after a brain injury?
However, cerebral oxygenation is still severely impaired by the catastrophic injury at the cellular level leading to brain death. Intracranial brain injury, as seen in traumatic brain injury and intracerebral hemorrhage, can cause an elevation in intracranial pressure and impairment of brain oxygenation, as mentioned above. 
What tests are used to detect cessation of cerebral blood flow?
*Ancillary tests used for detection of cessation of cerebral blood flow : Cerebral angiography: Four vessel angiography is considered the gold standard for tests that evaluate cerebral blood flow. It can confirm brain death when it shows cessation of blood flow to the brain.