Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) treatment is generally offered in large tertiary cardiothoracic referral centres. Here we present the indications and outcome of venovenous-ECMO (VV-ECMO) treatment in a low-volume, geographically isolated single-centre in Iceland, a country of 350 000 inhabitants. Our hypothesis was that patient survival in such a centre can be similar to that at high-volume centres.
A retrospective study that included all patients treated with VV-ECMO in Iceland from 1991-2016 (n = 17). Information on demographics, indications and in-hospital survival was collected from patient charts and APACHE II and Murray scores were calculated. Information on long-term survival was collected from a centralized registry.
Seventeen patients were treated with VV-ECMO (nine males, median age 33 years, range 14-74), the indication for 16 patients was severe acute respiratory distress syndrome, most often following pneumonia (n = 6), H1N1-infection (n = 3) or drowning (n = 2). Median APACHE-II and Murray-scores were 20 and 3.5, respectively, and median duration of VV-ECMO treatment was 9 days (range 2-40 days). In total 11 patients (64,7%) survived the treatment, with 10 patients (58,8%) surviving hospital discharge, all of who were still alive at long-term follow-up, with a median follow-up time of 9 years (August 15th, 2017).
Venovenous-ECMO service can be provided in a low-volume and geographically isolated centre, like Iceland, with short- and long-term outcomes comparable to larger centres.