Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) has been increasingly applied for the treatment of patients with trauma. Because a common complication of ECMO is bleeding, the use of ECMO support for patients with trauma was limited in the past. Studies have demonstrated a survival benefit from ECMO support in cases of traumatic lung injury, and it is likely that patients with other types of trauma would also benefit from ECMO support. However, the effect of ECMO in patients with other types of trauma is unknown.
Using the national insurance data of Taiwan, we identified 810 patients with trauma who received ECMO support from 2000 to 2010. Patients who died or who withdrew from the program within 7 days after discharge were defined as deceased. Logistic regression was used to estimate the odds ratio (OR) of death and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).
The overall mortality was 32.8% (266/810). A total of 417 patients received surgery during hospitalization, with an overall mortality of 39.0% (163/417). Patients who underwent thoracic surgery had an OR of 2.23 (95% CI: 1.49–3.34) compared with those who did not. Patients who underwent brain surgery had an OR of 2.86 (95% CI: 1.37–5.98) compared with patients who did not. Patients who received abdominal surgery had an OR of 4.47 (95% CI: 2.63–7.61) compared with patients who did not. All types of surgery had odds of mortality except orthopedic surgery; the use of ECMO with orthopedic surgery had an OR of 1.06 (95% CI: 0.69–1.62) compared with patients who did not receive orthopedic surgery.
Except for orthopedic surgery, patients with trauma who received ECMO support and required further surgery during hospitalization exhibited a relatively high mortality rate.