Objective: Trauma-related spinal cord injury (SCI) leads to a loss of motor, sensory and vegetative functions and is disproportionately associated with respiratory complications. SCI has a significant impact on respiratory muscle function and can lead to respiratory dysfunction or severe lung failure. Participants: Between 2008 and 2014, 7 patients with severe lung failure following SCI received veno-venous extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) n = 5 and interventional lung assist (iLA) n = 2. Results: The median duration of extracorporeal lung support was 8 (5.7-17.6) days. All 5 of the ECMO-supported patients were successfully weaned, and one of the two patients treated with iLA was weaned from the device. The median intensive care unit (ICU) stay was 35 (8.5-44.5) days. The mean hospital stay was 81 (8.5-120.7) days, and the average ventilation time was 817 (206-1,225) hours. Five (71.4%) of the 7 patients were discharged from the ICU and hospital. Conclusions: In patients with SCI, serious complications include microatelectasis, infection, ventilation-perfusion mismatching and aspiration (special case: salt-water aspiration after jumping into shallow water). In patients with SCI with post-traumatic lung failure, ECMO is a feasible and life-saving procedure. After surviving spinal shock, a long rehabilitation period with intensive follow-up in specialized centers is required.
Find related publications in this database (Keywords)Extracorporeal life support (ECLS)