Maternal Salvage With Extracorporeal Life Support: Lessons Learned in a Single Center

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Abstract

The American Heart Association scientific statement on cardiac arrest in pregnancy did not endorse extracorporeal life support for lack of cohort data. We studied all pregnancy and peripartum cases of extracorporeal life support in 1 medical center (n = 11), including collapse due to infection (n = 6, 55%), thromboembolism (n = 3, 27%), and cardiac disease (n = 2, 18%). Half of the cases (n = 5, 45%) involved extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Most mothers survived (n = 7, 64% [95% confidence interval, 32%–88%]). Deaths were attributable to oxygenator blockage (n = 1) and late sepsis (n = 3). The 2 unique clinical challenges were maintenance of high peripartum cardiac outputs and balancing anticoagulation with hemostasis.

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