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Open Access ECMO/CRRT Combined Support in the Treatment of Critically Ill SARS-CoV-2 Pneumonia Patients

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Objective: To explore the experience with and complications of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)combined with continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT) for treatment of critically ill patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pneumonia. Methods: The data on critically ill COVID-19 patients who received ECMO/CRRT at Tongji Hospital, which is affiliated with Huazhong University of Science and Technology, in February and March 2020 were collected and analyzed. All three patients were male, and the mean age was 50.6 years (range 44–58 years). The indications for ECMO in critically ill SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia patients at our center were severe acute respiratory distress syndrome with Pao2/Fio2 below 100 mmHg under an effective protective pulmonary ventilation strategy and inflammatory storm accompanied by acute kidney injury. One patient, with severe heart failure, was selected for venoarterial ECMO, and the other two patients were selected for venovenous ECMO. Results: In the three patients who received ECMO combined with bedside CRRT, the mean duration was 9.7 days (range 7–13 days). Four complications occurred during ECMO/CRRT, especially thrombocytopenia. Laboratory testing showed increased counts of leukocytes and lymphocytes and decreased levels of inflammatory factors. Lung CT was suggestive of significantly absorbed and reduced lesions and interstitial fibrosis. Conclusions: The survival rate of patients with cardiopulmonary failure treated with ECMO/CRRT in whom conventional treatment failed in this group was 100%, which indicates that combined treatment with ECMO and CRRT is an important treatment technique.
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Keywords: Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation; continuous renal replacement therapy; critically ill SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia patients

Affiliations: Huashan Hospital Fudan University, 200040 Shanghai, China

Appeared or available online: January 5, 2021

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