Bedside Emergency Percutaneous Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenator with Bicaval Dual-Lumen Cannula
Background: Veno-venous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VV-ECMO) support has emerged as a valuable rescue therapy in patients with severe acute lung failure. A new bicaval dual-lumen percutaneous cannula can be instituted with a single puncture of the right internal jugular vein under image guidance (fluoroscopy and/or trans-esophageal echocardiography) to support VV-ECMO. However, malpositioning of the dual-lumen catheter can jeopardize the efficacy of the ECMO therapy.
Case report: We report an emergency VV-ECMO instituted at a patient’s bedside in the intensive care unit. Percutaneous insertion of a dual lumen-cannula was performed on a young patient that had undergone cardiac surgery. The patient had developed a fulminant post-operative pneumonia, leading to respiratory failure and septic shock. The procedure was done at night, without any image guidance other than a post-insertion chest x-ray. We compared the oxygen saturation of arterial blood gas taken from both the outflow and inflow ECMO ends, and the saturations were used as indirect proof of correct cannula placement. The VV-ECMO was successfully removed after nine days, as the patient was clinically and radiologically recovered.
Conclusion: This case reports a dual-lumen cannula insertion in an emergency setting, with minimal image support. It confirms the efficacy and the safety of VV-ECMO in the treatment of post-operative acute respiratory failure.
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