Extracorporeal life support: Utilization, cost, controversy, and ethics of trying to Save lives

Sheri Crow, Anne C. Fischer, Raquel M. Schears

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Since the first successful application of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) in 1972, ECMOg's role in the management of respiratory and circulatory collapse continues to be refined and debated. Randomized clinical trials aimed at establishing efficacy and patient selection criteria have been fraught with ethical challenges. Growing concerns over rising health care costs require that careful evaluations of cost, utilization, and ethical issues surrounding heroic life-saving interventions such as ECMO are undertaken. Continued analyses of ECMOg's place in the medical management of respiratory and circulatory failure will help ensure that ECMO is used for not only prolonging life but also for providing a chance for "quality of life" following recovery from near-fatal illnesses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-191
Number of pages9
JournalSeminars in Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2009


  • Extracorporeal Life Support Organization (ELSO)
  • Extracorporeal life support
  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Extracorporeal life support: Utilization, cost, controversy, and ethics of trying to Save lives'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this