Distal perfusion cannula on VA-ECMO: do not blindly trust! A case report

Submitted: 5 April 2023
Accepted: 22 April 2023
Published: 16 May 2023
Abstract Views: 654
PDF: 394
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Distal perfusion cannulas, DPCs, are increasingly used to prevent limb ischemia, frequent and potentially serious complication on peripheral veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (V-A ECMO) support. We report the case of a patient treated with femoro-femoral V-A ECMO who developed a sudden, significant asymmetric decrease in cannulated limb regional oxygen saturation, rSO2, signal, despite the presence of a DPC. This finding, noticed within 6 hours after the implementation of extracorporeal cardiopulmonary resuscitation (ECPR) in a patient experiencing refractory intra-hospital cardiac arrest (IHCA), suggested ongoing limb ischemia. After careful monitoring, a clot was detected in the line supplying DPC, which appeared completely kinked at dressing removal. Line patency and reperfusion were promptly re-established. No additional ischemic episodes occurred, and the patient was successfully weaned from extracorporeal support, and experienced full functional recovery, with no sensory or motor deficit.

This case highlights the strict need for a careful, continuous monitoring of limb perfusion during V-A ECMO, even if limb perfusion through DPC is implemented, in order to prevent severe limb complications, negatively impacting on outcome.



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How to Cite

Diaz, R., & Antonini, M. V. (2023). Distal perfusion cannula on VA-ECMO: do not blindly trust! A case report. Acute Care Medicine Surgery and Anesthesia, 1(1). https://doi.org/10.4081/amsa.2023.15