Performance and safety of an integrated portable extracorporeal life support system for adults

Cory M. Alwardt, Donald S. Wilson, Michelle L. Alore, Louis A. Lanza, Patrick A. DeValeria, Octavio E. Pajaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) is indicated when conventional measures fail to support a patient during cardiac or respiratory failure. Due to the complicated nature of ECMO, patients often require transport to a tertiary care center. This study retrospectively compared the performance of the Cardiohelp™ (Maquet) life support system with a previously used ECMO circuit when transporting adult patients on venoarterial ECMO between facilities. Two ECMO circuits were compared for performance: 1) the Cardiohelp™ (Maquet) life support system and 2) the "standard" circuit consisting of a Thoratec CentriMag centrifugal pump, Maquet Quadrox-D oxygenator, and a Terumo CDI-500 in-line blood gas analyzer. After analyzing data from 16 patients (eight patients supported with each ECMO system), no differences in patient demographics, percentage of patients successfully weaned from ECMO, percentage of patients surviving to discharge, duration supported on the initial ECMO system, or total duration of ECMO were noted. No patient deaths were related to circuit failure or circuit disruptions in either group. Analysis of the performance of the ECMO circuits and the resulting patient status showed few significant differences between ECMO groups (Cardiohelp™ vs. standard circuit) and time points (the first 8 hours vs. a 24-hour time point). The statistically significant differences were not concerning in terms of appropriate medical support or patient safety. Of interest, the transmembrane pressure was significantly lower for the Cardiohelp™ module vs. the standard oxygenator during the first 8 hours (20.1 [5.3] vs. 37.1 [7.1] mmHg; p < .001) and at 24 hours (21.3 [3.8] vs. 34.8 [7.9] mmHg; p = .001). The Cardiohelp™ portable life support system provides safe and reliable support for adult patients on ECMO during interhospital patient transport as compared to the standard circuit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-43
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Extra-Corporeal Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2015


  • ECMO
  • Extra corporeal life support
  • Extracorporeal
  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
  • Transport

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Health Professions (miscellaneous)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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