CHEST 2014: ECMO CPR May Improve Patient Recovery Interview with:
Graham Peigh, BA
Thomas Jefferson University

Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?

Response: The main findings of our study show that extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation (E-CPR) can provide recovery when a patient is unresponsive to conventional CPR. In our sample of 24 patients, 13 survived ECMO, and 7 were successfully discharged from the hospital. Major meta analytic studies have shown that in-hospital CPR yields a discharge rate of under 20%, and our study presents results which demonstrate that E-CPR provides a method by which those survival figures can be increased. Importantly, our study also showed that vital organ function among ECMO survivors was maintained. All13 patients had improved or unchanged kidney and liver function, and 12/13 had improved or unchanged metabolic function. After using standard hypothermia protocols, all seven hospital survivors had full neurological recovery. This study differs from the majority of other studies on E-CPR because our institution does not have a dedicated E-CPR/Code team available to perform E-CPR 24/7. We believe that our results are thus generalizable to other academic institutions, which, like ours, have the capability to perform E-CPR, but are only able to do so during on-hours when physicians, perfusionists, and ECMO materials are available.

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