Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation as Treatment of Severe COVID-19 Infection: A Case Report.
Cureus. 2020 Apr 17;12(4):e7714
Authors: Douedi S, Alshami A, Costanzo E
Novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) is a severe respiratory infection leading to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) accounting for thousands of cases and deaths across the world. Several alternatives in treatment options have been assessed and used in this patient population. However, when mechanical ventilation and prone positioning are unsuccessful, venovenous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VV-ECMO) may be used. We present a case of a 41-year-old female, with no significant medical history and no recent history of exposure to sick contacts, presented to the emergency department (ED) with fever, severe shortness of breath, and flu-like symptoms with a positive COVID-19 test. Ultimately, she worsened on mechanical ventilation and prone positioning and required VV-ECMO. The use of VV-ECMO in COVID-19 infected patients is still controversial. While some studies have shown a high mortality rate despite aggressive treatment, such as in our case, the lack of large sample size studies and treatment alternatives places healthcare providers against a wall without options in patients with severe refractory ARDS due to COVID-19.
PMID: 32431992 [PubMed]