ECMO use in COVID-19: Lessons from past respiratory virus outbreaks - A narrative review

Hwa Jin Cho, Silver Heinsar, In Seok Jeong, Kiran Shekar, Gianluigi Li Bassi, Jae Seung Jung, Jacky Y. Suen, John F. Fraser

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    54 Citations (Scopus)


    The spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) continues to grow exponentially in most countries, posing an unprecedented burden on the healthcare sector and the world economy. Previous respiratory virus outbreaks, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), pandemic H1N1 and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), have provided significant insights into preparation and provision of intensive care support including extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). Many patients have already been supported with ECMO during the current COVID-19 pandemic, and it is likely that many more may receive ECMO support, although, at this point, the role of ECMO in COVID-19-related cardiopulmonary failure is unclear. Here, we review the experience with the use of ECMO in the past respiratory virus outbreaks and discuss potential role for ECMO in COVID-19.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number301
    JournalCritical Care
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jun 6

    Bibliographical note

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2020 The Author(s).


    • Coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19)
    • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)
    • Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS)
    • Pandemic H1N1
    • Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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