Ventetuolo et al. Extracorporeal life support in critically ill adults. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2014; 190:497-508. A concise review of both veno-arterial and veno-venous ECMO.

PMID: 25046529

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Peek GJ, Mugford M, Tiruvoipati R, et al. Efficacy and economic assessment of conventional ventilatory support versus extracorporeal membrane oxygenation for severe adult respiratory failure (CESAR): a multicentre randomised controlled trial. Lancet 2009; 374:1351-63. Highlighting both regionalization of care and use of ECMO, this trial showed that transfer to an ECMO-ready facility (75% of those transferred actually received ECMO) led to an NNT of 6 to prevent one death or severe disability at six months compared to standard care. The study was limited by the lack of a mandated lung-protective strategy in the control group; 93% of those transferred for possible ECMO received a lung-protective strategy, compared to 70% in the control group.

PMID: 19762075

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Combes A,  Hajage D, Capellier G et al. Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation for severe acute respiratory distress syndrome. N Engl J Med. 2018; 378:1965-1975. The multicenter EOLIA randomized 249 patients with very severe ARDS to immediate VV ECMO vs standard care. 60-day mortality was lower in the ECMO group but the difference was not statistically significant (35% vs. 46%, p value 0.09). The study was stopped early for futility despite a trend toward benefit. Of note, 28% of control patients crossed over to ECMO due to refractory hypoxemia, with 43% of this group surviving.

PMID: 29791822

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