A 21-year-old male trauma patient presented after a motor vehicle crash, witnessed massive aspiration and sustained traumatic brain injury. On postinjury day 3, the patient progressed to adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) refractory to all conventional therapies, prompting the use of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). After 5 days of ECMO support and 3 thrombosed oxygenators, systemic anticoagulation was initiated. After 20 days of ECMO, 15 of which required systemic anticoagulation, the patient was decannulated and transferred to a rehabilitation facility. The patient is currently home without any neurological deficits. Although controversial, ECMO may serve a role as a rescue therapy in ARDS when conventional therapies fail in the brain-injured patient.
- Adult respiratory distress syndrome
- Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
- Traumatic brain injury
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering