Anticoagulation strategies and difficulties in neonatal and paediatric extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)

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Objective:The aim of this review is to highlight an emerging problem with anticoagulation-related complications in neonatal and paediatric ECMO, to explore for flaws in the currently recommended anticoagulation management responsible for these problems and to discuss possible strategies mitigating further escalation of the issue.Data Sources:Pertinent neonatal and paediatric literature on the topic of interest and international Extracorporeal Life Support Organisation (ELSO) registry data request.Conclusions:The international ELSO registry data reveals increasing rates of anticoagulation-related complications during neonatal and paediatric ECMO worldwide. The causes are multifactorial and the proposed solution to the problem is to match anticoagulation management to the pathophysiological complexity of haemostasis on ECMO.

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