Background: Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) can be effective for refractory acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in patients with influenza, but its utility in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is uncertain. We compared outcomes of patients with refractory ARDS from COVID-19 and influenza placed on ECMO. Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis of 120 patients with refractory ARDS due to COVID-19 or influenza placed on ECMO at 2 referral centers from January 2013 to October 2020. Patient characteristics and clinical outcomes were compared. The primary endpoint was survival to discharge. Results: Baseline characteristics and comorbidities were similar. During the study period, 53 patients with COVID-19 and 67 patients with influenza were supported. Venovenous ECMO was the predominant initial cannulation strategy in both groups (COVID 92.5% vs influenza 95.5%; P = .5). Survival to hospital discharge was 62.3% (33 of 53 patients) in the COVID-19 group and 64.2% (43 of 67 patients) in the influenza group (P = .8). In patients successfully decannulated, median length of time on ECMO was longer in COVID-19 patients (14 [interquartile range (IQR), 9-30] days vs influenza 10.5 [IQR, 6.8-14.3] days; P = .004). Among patients discharged alive, COVID-19 patients had longer overall length of stay (COVID-19 37 [IQR, 27-62] days vs influenza 13.5 [IQR, 9.3-24] days; P = .007). Conclusions: In patients with refractory ARDS from COVID-19 or influenza placed on ECMO, there was no significant difference in survival to hospital discharge. In patients surviving to decannulation, the duration of ECMO support and total length of stay were longer in COVID-19 patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine