A review of ECMO for cardiac arrest

Tyler E. Klee, Karl B. Kern

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Cardiac arrest is an important public health concern, affecting an estimated 356,500 people in the out-of-hospital setting and 209,000 people in the in-hospital setting each year. The causes of cardiac arrest include acute coronary syndromes, pulmonary embolism, dyskalemia, respiratory failure, hypovolemia, sepsis, and poisoning among many others. In order to tackle the enormous issue of high mortality among sufferers of cardiac arrest, ongoing research has been seeking improved treatment protocols and novel therapies. One of the mechanical devices that has been increasingly utilized for cardiac arrest is venoarterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VA-ECMO). Presently there is only one published randomized controlled trial examining the use of VA-ECMO as part of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), a process referred to as extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation (ECPR). Recently there has been significant progress in providing ECPR for refractory cardiac arrest patients. This narrative review seeks to outline the use of ECPR for both in-hospital and out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, as well as provide information on the expected outcomes associated with its use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100083
JournalResuscitation Plus
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • COVID-19
  • Cardiac arrest
  • ECMO
  • ECPR
  • Extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation
  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Emergency
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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