The 1-Year Follow-Up Clinic for Neonates and Children After Respiratory Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Support: A 10-Year Single Institution Experience*

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To establish the effectiveness of a “1-year extracorporeal membrane oxygenation follow-up clinic” and to characterize any neurodevelopmental concerns identified.


Single-center retrospective cohort of respiratory extracorporeal membrane oxygenation survivors over 10 years.


Nationally commissioned center for neonatal and pediatric (> 28 d of life) respiratory extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.


Children attending the follow-up clinic 1 year after receiving respiratory extracorporeal membrane oxygenation between 2003 and 2013.


Standardized follow-up 1 year after extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.

Measurements and Main Results:

In 10 years, 290 children received extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, 194 (67%) survived; all were offered 1-year follow-up, and 98 (51%) attended the clinic. Among these, 51 of 98 (52%) had meconium aspiration syndrome, and 74 of 98 (75%) were on veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation with a median (interquartile range) duration of 6 days (4–8 d). Neurodevelopmental problems were identified in 30 of 98 (30%). The specific abnormalities noted included neurologic (seizures, motor, or vision abnormalities) (n = 8), hearing with/without language delay (n = 8), and behavioral problems (as reported by parents) (n = 6), with eight of 30 (27%) having difficulties spanning these domains. An acute neurologic event on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation was found to be the only risk factor for neurodevelopmental concerns (p = 0.006 with odds ratio 5.4 [95% CI, 1.63–17.92]). Despite having neither a cardiac arrest nor an acute neurologic event documented, 18 of 74 (24.3%), 95% CI (15.1–35.7), had neurodevelopmental concerns at 1-year follow-up. Among the nonattenders, 30 (15%) had local follow-up, and 66 (34%) were lost to follow-up.


All extracorporeal membrane oxygenation survivors need follow-up either at the extracorporeal membrane oxygenation center or in their community, as evidenced by the 1-year follow-up data. Our 1-year extracorporeal membrane oxygenation follow-up clinic provides an opportunity to engage with families, identify neurodevelopmental concerns, and signpost to appropriate services. Of concern, one third of survivors are lost to follow-up, some with an acute neurologic event on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, a significant risk factor. A consensus-based standardized national follow-up program is vital.

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