Utilization of eac surgery: A single center experience, 34 cases in 8 years
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Background: Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is used in a variety of indications worldwide. One of the most important subsets is postoperative congenital cardiac surgery cases unresponsive to conventional therapies. In this study, we present our ECMO experience in a single congenital cardiac surgery center. Methods: ECMO was used in a total of 34 postoperative congenital cardiac surgery cases, whose operations had been performed by the same congenital cardiac surgery team. Patients' ages were between 3 days to 15 years. ECMO was used in four different indications; in case of unsuccessful weaning from cardiopulmonary bypass (OR-ECMO), in low cardiac output syndrome (LCOS-ECMO), in refractory post cardiac arrest (CPR-ECMO) and in respiratory insufficiency after RSV infection (RSV-ECMO). Results: The follow-up period of patients ranged from 1 to 80 months, whereas ECMO duration ranged from 23 to 2218 hours. Six cases were OR-ECMO, 13 were LCOS-ECMO, 12 were CPR-ECMO and 3 were RSV-ECMO. Out of a total of 34 cases, 20 (58%) cases were weaned from ECMO. Two of the patients, who were able to be weaned from ECMO passed away in the hospital; however, the other 18 patients (52.9%) were discharged from the hospital without having any significant neurological deficits. The top survival rate (69%) and weaning from ECMO was in the LCOS-ECMO group and the worst weaning from ECMO support (33%) was in the RSV-ECMO. The worst survival rate (25%) was in the CPR-ECMO group. Sepsis and associated multiple organ dysfunction were observed as the major cause of mortality in these patients. The most common complications were bleeding and mechanical complications related to cannulation. Conclusions: ECMO may be required in postoperative congenital cardiac surgery cases in whom all other conventional therapies have failed. Indications, timing and maintenance of equipment are very important points in successful ECMO management. Increasing ECMO experience in the near future, will provide much decrease in mortality of congenital cardiac surgery.