Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation: a literature review

ABSTRACT Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation is a modality of extracorporeal life support that allows for temporary support in pulmonary and/or cardiac failure refractory to conventional therapy. Since the first descriptions of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, significant improvements have occurred in the device and the management of patients and, consequently, in the outcomes of critically ill patients during extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. Many important studies about the use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation in patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome refractory to conventional clinical support, under in-hospital cardiac arrest and with cardiogenic refractory shock have been published in recent years. The objective of this literature review is to present the theoretical and practical aspects of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation support for respiratory and/or cardiac functions in critically ill patients.