Minimally invasive extracorporeal circulation resuscitation in hypothermic cardiac arrest

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Current guidelines for the treatment of hypothermic cardiocirculatory arrest recommend extracorporeal life support and rewarming, using cardiopulmonary bypass or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation circuits. Both have design-related shortcomings which may result in prolonged reperfusion time or insufficient oxygen delivery to vital organs. This article describes clear advantages of minimally invasive extracorporeal circulation systems during emergency extracorporeal life support in hypothermic arrest. The technique of minimally invasive extracorporeal circulation for reperfusion and rewarming is represented by the case of a 59-year-old patient in hypothermic cardiocirculatory arrest at 25.3°C core temperature, with multiple trauma. With femoro-femoral cannulation performed under sonographic and echocardiographic guidance, extracorporeal life support was initiated using a minimally invasive extracorporeal circulation system. Perfusing rhythm was restored at 28°C. During rewarming on the mobile circuit, trauma surveys were completed and the treatment initiated. Normothermic weaning was successful on the first attempt, trauma surgery was completed and the patient survived neurologically intact. For extracorporeal resuscitation from hypothermic arrest, minimally invasive extracorporeal circulation offers all the advantages of conventional cardiopulmonary bypass and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation systems without their shortcomings.

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