ED ECMO May Be a Game Changer for Primary Care Physicians And Here Is Why

Basic Life Support is a skill critical to all primary care physicians and to their office staffs. BLS saves lives and if not done at the scene of arrest nothing else is likely to matter.

So we primary care physicians and all our colleagues must dedicate ourselves to maintaining ability to perform excellent basic life support.

Excellent basic life support may become even more important with the advent of Emergency Department ECMO. The preliminary results of this technique are very promising, but only if excellent bystander Basic Life Support is instituted immediately, at the time of the arrest. See the links below for the exciting details.

Basically, ECMO means Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation and all Indianapolis hospitals have this capability. It is performed in the hospital for critically ill patients.

ED ECMO means ECMO initiated in the Emergency Department by emergency physicians for patients in cardiac arrest.

Here is a link to a great site on ED ECMO.

Here is a great group of videos on ED ECMO.

I did a quick search of the Indianapolis health systems’ websites and could not find any reference to emergency department ECMO.

And ED ECMO may not be ready for prime time.

But here is a very interesting article:

Extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation versus conventional cardiopulmonary resuscitation in adults with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest: a prospective observational study. [PubMed Abstract][Full Text PDF]       Resuscitation. 2014 Jun;85(6):762-8. doi: 10.1016/j.resuscitation.2014.01.031. Epub 2014 Feb 12.

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