CO2 clearance by membrane lungs


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Abstract

Introduction:Commercial membrane lungs are designed to transfer a specific amount of oxygen per unit of venous blood flow. Membrane lungs are much more efficient at removing CO2 than adding oxygen, but the range of CO2 transfer is rarely reported.Methods:Commercial membrane lungs were studied with the goal of evaluating CO2 removal capacity. CO2 removal was measured in 4 commercial membrane lungs under standardized conditions.Conclusion:CO2 clearance can be greater than 4 times that of oxygen at a given blood flow when the gas to blood flow ratio is elevated to 4:1 or 8:1. The CO2 clearance was less dependent on surface area and configuration than oxygen transfer. Any ECMO system can be used for selective CO2 removal.

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