Short-Term Mortality Rate Near 50% in Children Who Receive VA-ECMO for Heart Disease

A study in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that pediatric patients receiving veno-arterial extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (VA-ECMO) for severe heart disease have a short-term mortality of 45.6%. The analysis included 28 studies with 1736 patients, showing a lower mortality rate for children with acute fulminant myocarditis compared to those with congenital heart disease after cardiotomy. Factors associated with short-term mortality risk included age, weight, pre-VA-ECMO vasoactive-inotropic score, male sex, bleeding, renal damage, left heart decompression, central cannulation, and pre-VA-ECMO lactate. Complications during VA-ECMO support were also reported, with bleeding and renal damage being the most common. The study authors emphasized the importance of the findings in facilitating effective communication of prognosis and shared decision-making among patients, families, and healthcare providers.

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