COVID-19 patient bridged to recovery with veno-venous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation

Daniel Rinewalt, Anthony Coppolino, Raghu Seethala, Nirmal Sharma, Ali Salim, Steve Keller, Hari R. Mallidi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: In severe cases, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) viral pathogen produces hypoxic respiratory failure unable to be adequately supported by mechanical ventilation. The role of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) remains unknown, with the few publications to date lacking detailed patient information or management algorithms all while reporting excessive mortality. Methods: Case report from a prospectively maintained institutional ECMO database for COVID-19. Results: We describe veno-venous (VV) ECMO in a COVID-19-positive woman with hypoxic respiratory dysfunction failing mechanical ventilation support while prone and receiving inhaled pulmonary vasodilator therapy. After 9 days of complex management secondary to her hyperdynamic circulation, ECMO support was successfully weaned to supine mechanical ventilation and the patient was ultimately discharged from the hospital. Conclusions: With proper patient selection and careful attention to hemodynamic management, ECMO remains a reasonable treatment option for patients with COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2869-2871
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Cardiac Surgery
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • cardiovascular pathology
  • perfusion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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