Pediatric Femoral Arterial Cannulations in Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation: A Review and Strategies for Optimization

Charles D. Fraser, Mark L. Kovler, William Guzman, Daniel S. Rhee, Ying Wei Lum, Samuel M. Alaish, Alejandro V. Garcia

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Venoarterial (VA) extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is a treatment strategy for pediatric patients with cardiopulmonary failure. Femoral cannulation is a commonly used technique for obtaining central access in children and adolescents despite high rates of vascular complications. Ischemic limb complications remain one of the most common problems facing survivors of femoral VA ECMO. Our aim is to review the literature on femoral cannulation in children and to present a review of techniques for femoral cannula placement, decannulation, and arterial repair to help minimize and ameliorate complications related to cannulation. We performed a literature review for pediatric ECMO cannulation, complications, and femoral artery repair in pediatric patients. We focused on the management of arterial and ischemia-related complications during and after ECMO support via femoral cannulation. Vascular complications are not infrequent for patients requiring ECMO support via femoral cannulation. As such, judicious distal perfusion monitoring as well as augmentation of distal flow are important strategies during mechanical support. The use of distal perfusion catheters can be used to minimize the risk of limb ischemia. As femoral cannulation grows more popular in pediatric patients, strategies for arterial repair are essential to ensure extremity perfusion upon decannulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)636-641
Number of pages6
JournalASAIO Journal
Issue number7
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019


  • ECMO
  • femoral artery repair
  • femoral cannulation
  • pediatrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Bioengineering
  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering


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