Successful use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in a child with obstructive shock due to massive bilateral pulmonary embolism

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Background:Acute massive pulmonary embolism (PE) is a very rare condition in children. We report the successful use of veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VA ECMO) as a lifesaving modality in a child with acute massive PE.Case presentation:A nine-year-old female with spinal muscular atrophy type 1, chronic respiratory failure with tracheostomy and ventilator dependence presented with tachypnea and hypoxia. She had recent coiling of her pulmonary arterio-venous malformation. A chest computerized tomography scan showed massive bilateral PE. Urgent catheter-directed thrombolysis failed. She was placed on VA-ECMO with stabilization of hemodynamics. She underwent surgical thrombo-embolectomy followed by weaning of ECMO support.Discussion:The use of VA ECMO supported the cardio-respiratory status and perfusion to facilitate surgical embolectomy.

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