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Severe Patients With ARDS With COVID-19 Treated With Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation in China: A Retrospective Study.


Background: The novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has become a global health crisis affecting over 200 countries worldwide. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) has been increasingly used in the management of COVID-19-associated end-stage respiratory failure. However, the exact effect of ECMO in the management of these patients, especially with regards to complications and mortality, is unclear. Methods: This is the largest retrospective study of ECMO treated COVID-19 patients in China. A total of 50 ECMO-treated COVID-19 patients were recruited. We describe the main characteristics, the clinical features, ventilator parameters, ECMO-related variables and management details, and complications and outcomes of COVID-19 patients with severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) that required ECMO support. Results: For those patients with ECMO support, 21 patients survived and 29 died (mortality rate: 58.0%). Among those who survived, PaO2 (66.3 mmHg [59.5-74.0 mmHg] and PaO2/FiO2 (68.0 mmHg [61.0-76.0 mmHg]) were higher in the survivors than those of non-survivors (PaO2: 56.8 mmHg (49.0-65.0 mmHg), PaO2/FiO2 (58.2 mmHg (49.0-68.0 mmHg), all P < 0.01) prior to ECMO. Patients who achieved negative fluid balance in the early resuscitation phase (within 3 days) had a higher survival rate than those who did not (P = 0.0003). Conclusions: In this study of 50 cases of ECMO-treated COVID-19 patients, a low PO2/FIO2 ratio before ECMO commencement may indicate a poor prognosis. Negative fluid balance in the early resuscitation phase during ECMO treatment was a predictor of increased survival post-ECMO treatment.

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