Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation for ARDS: National trends in the United States 2008–2012

Bhupinder S. Natt, Hem Desai, Nirmal Singh, Chithra Poongkunran, Sairam Parthasarathy, Christian Bime

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


INTRODUCTION: Recent advances in technology and protocols have made the use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) a viable rescue therapy for patients with ARDS who present with refractory hypoxemia. Despite the lack of strong evidence supporting the use of ECMO in ARDS, its use seems to be increasing. We sought to determine recent trends in the use of ECMO for ARDS. We also assessed trends in mortality among patients with ARDS in whom ECMO was used. METHODS: We performed a retrospective analysis using the largest all-payer in-patient healthcare database in the United States, the Healthcare Cost and Utilization project, the National In-patient Sample database from 2008 to 2012. Subjects with ARDS were identified using carefully chosen International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision codes. RESULTS: We found that in 2008, about 1 in 1,000 subjects with ARDS underwent ECMO. Over the subsequent 4-y time period, there was a 0.19% absolute increase and 70% relative increase in the use of ECMO for ARDS. The mortality rate among subjects with ARDS in whom ECMO was used declined from 78% in 2008 to 64% in 2012. We also found a trend toward a reduction in hospital stay among survivors. CONCLUSION: In the United States, between 2008 and 2012, there was an increasing trend toward the use of ECMO in patients with ARDS that coincided with a slight increase in survival among these patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1293-1298
Number of pages6
JournalRespiratory care
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2016


  • Acute lung injury/ARDS
  • ECMO
  • Epidemiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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