Brachial Plexus Injury Associated With Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation

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Abstract

Introduction:

Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is a cardiopulmonary support system. We present 2 patients of ECMO-related brachial plexus injury.

Methods:

Patients were selected from a registry of 154 patients treated with ECMO from January 2002 to September 2011.

Results:

Five patients had unilateral arm weakness after the initiation of ECMO therapy. There was no neurological examination or electrophysiological testing data available for 3 patients. Diagnosis of brachial plexus injury was confirmed in 2 patients, one based on neurological examination and one based on electrophysiological testing.

Discussion:

Axillary artery cannulation resulting in hematoma formation was identified as a probable risk factor for brachial plexus injury in our 2 patients.

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